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Doctor of Phil, and Theol. and Professor of the latter in the University of Berlin. 



Professor in the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary of Virginia. 

VOL. i: 




>: "Ti^.v 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1839, 

By Reuel Keith, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. 





On Matthew 2 : 23, 1 

The Prophet Zechariah, ..... 7 

General Preliminary Observations, .... 7 

I. Chap. 1:1 — 6, 15 

II. Chap. 1 :7-6 : 15, 16 

1. The Vision of the Rider among the Myrtle 

Trees. Chap. 1 : 7-17, . . . 16 

2. The Fom- Horns and the Four Smiths. Chap. 

2:1-4, . . . . . .22 

3. The Angel with the Measuring Line. Chap. 

2 : 5-17, 23 

4. The High Priest Joshua before the Angel of 

the Lord. Chap. 3, .... 25 

5. The Candlestick with the Two Olive Trees. 

Chap. 4, ... ^ ... 41 

6. The Flying Roll. Chap. 5:1-4, . . 44 

7. The Epha and the Woman sitting therein. 

Verses 5-11, . . . .46 

8. The Four Chariots. Chap. 6:1-8,. . 48 

9. The Crown on the Head of Joshua. Vs. 9-15, 52 

Chap. 7 and 8, . 66 

Chap. 9:1-10, . . . . . . 68 

Concerning the Land of Hadrach, ... 69 

Chap. 9: 11— 10 : 12,. .... 114 



Chap. 10, . . V ^^^ 

Chap. 11, 146 

Chap. 12: 1—13 : 6, 196 

History of the Interpretation, . . . ' 218 

1. Among the Jews, .... 218 

2. By the Christians, .... 226 

Chap. 13, 233 

Chap. 13:7-9, . ' 242 

Chap. 14, 254 

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel, Chap. 9: 24-27, 292 

General View, 292 

Interpretation. Verse 24, . . . . , . 297 

Verse 25, 328 

Verse 26, 343 

Verse 27, 354 

The Definiteness of the Dates, .... 378 
The Terminus a Quo of the Seventy Weeks, . .381 

Chronological Determination of the Terminus ad Qwem, 392 
The Agreement of Prophecy and Fulfilment with re- 
spect to the Distance of the Terminus a Quo from 

the Terminus ad Quern, . . . . . 394 

The Last Week and its Half, .... 408 

The Non-Messianic Interpreters, .... 414 

ON MATTHEW 2: 23. 

TO ^ri&iv 8iu Tiov ■n:gocpi]T(~})', oit. Nct^afjctlog xXrj&^^asTUt. 

We here engage in a preliminary inquiry respecting the name of 
the city of Nazareth. As we find it only in the New Testament, 
different views might be entertained in respect to its orthography 
and etymology. Ours is the following : the name was properly and 
originally "IV.A ; as the name of a city it received in Aramaean the 
feminine ending n ; and lastly, on account of the original appel- 
lative signification of the word, a n was sometimes appended to 
mark the stat. empkat. of the fern, in ><. We have an analogous 
case in the name Dalmanutha, the same place which is called 
p'n'?y by the Talmudists : see Lightfoot, Decas Chorograph. Blare. 
prcBm., Opp. II. p. 411, sqq. Also probably in ya^^Sa&u, Nn^J, formed 
from the masc. 2J, dorsum. That the original form was Nezer, 
that this continued in use along with that also in n, and that the 
n served merely to designate the stat. empliat. or, if the Hebrew 
is regarded as the ground form, was only the hardening of the n 
femin. which equally suits our purpose, we prove by the following 
arguments. 1. The testimony of the Jews. David de Pomis (in 
De Dieu, Critic. Sacr. on M. 2 : 23.) says, n>"3 i^O nSuty ^n n2f J 
D'n"' nw'lV! Tj-n D^Sb;itd pirn S"'S:n, " A Nazarite is one born in the 
city Nezer, in Galilee, three days' journey from Jerusalem." In 
the Talmud, in Breschit Rabbah, and in Jalkut Schimeoni on 
Daniel, Christ receives the reproachful name, Ben Nezer, the Naza- 
rene : see the passages in Buxtorf, Lex. c. 1383, in Lightfoot, Disquis. 
Chorog. Johan.prmn., Opp. 11. p. 578, sq., Eisenmenger, I. p. 139. 

VOL. II. 1 

2 - MATTHEW 2 : 23. 

Gieseler has endeavoured, it is true, on Matth. 2 : 23, (in den Studieo 
und Crit. 1831, III. p. 591,) to give another meaning to this appei 
lation. He supposes it to refer to Isaiah 11:1. It passed over 
to the Jews from the Christians, who called their Messiah 1^3 |3, 
because he was the one promised by Isaiah. But this supposition 
is correct only so far, as this designation was indeed chosen by the 
Jews in reference to the assertion of the Christians, that Christ was 
the "^i'J predicted by Isaiah; as in like manner they gave him also 
the names "^13X3 lli'J, adulterous Branch, and 3;,'nJ "^i'J, ahominahle or 
detestable Branch, (from Isaiah 14 : 19.) comp. Eisenmenger, I. pp, 
137, 138. But it is erroneous to attribute the origin of this appel- 
lation entirely, or even chiefly, to this reference to Isaiah 11: 1. 
Against this the name itself is decisive. It would then have been 
not Ben Nezer, but only "li'J. Gieseler asserts, indeed, that he in 
whom a particular prophecy was fulfilled, was " the son of this 
prophecy," and in proof of this usage he appeals to the fact, that 
the Pseudo-Messias under Adrian, with reference to the '22)2, Num. 
24 : 17, called himself 22)2 \2 or X3213 13, because the star there 
promised had appeared in him. But this is only plausible ; we can 
just as little prove from it, that Christ, as he in whom the prophecy 
concerning the Nezer was fulfilled, could be called Ben Nezer, as 
on the other hand we can prove from the appellation Ben Nezer, 
that the said Pseudo-Messias could be named Barkochba solely 
because the prophecy concerning the star was believed to be fulfilled 
in him. Reland has already shown (Geogr. II. p. 727,) that Bar- 
kochba probaby bore this name, as originating from Kokab, a city 
and region beyond the Jordan. He made his descent of such 
special importance, because he sought for a deeper meaning in the 
coincidence of the name of his birth-place with that of the subject 
of the prediction Num. 24. The assumption, however, that, among 
the Jews, he in whom a prophecy was fulfilled was called its son, 
6. g. the Messiah, the servant of God, the Prince of Peace, the Son 
of the Messiah, &c., is entirely without support, and improbable in 
itself. Besides, this import of the term Ben Nezer has the uniform 
interpretation of the Jews against it. Jarchi, in the gloss on the 
passage relating to this name in the Talmud, explains Ben Nezer 
by " he who has sprung from the city of Nazareth." Abarbanel, 
in his book Majcnc Hajeschua, after the citation of a passage from 
Jalkut Schimeoni, says; " Yet mark well how they have interpreted 
the little horn (Dan. 7 : 8) of the Ben Nezer, which is Jesus the Naza- 

MATTHEW 2 : 23. 3 

rene." Buxtorf also cites from the Lexicon Aruch, which is of high 
authority : Sbpnn n^J '^^:i2, " Nezcr (or Ben Nezer) is the accursed 
Nazarene." Lastly, it is inconceivable, that the Jews, in a connex- 
ion where they heap the basest calumnies upon Christ, should, with- 
out any explanation, give him an honorable appellation borrowed 
from the Christians. 2. This result is confirmed by the assertions 
of Christian writers. In the time of Eusebius {Hist. Eccl. 1, 7) and 
of Jerome, the place still bore the name of Nazara. The latter 
says, under the word Nazareth : " Est autem usque hociie in Gali- 
Itsa viculus contra Legionem, in quitito decimo ejus milliario dd 
orientalem plogam, juxta montrm Tabor, nomine Nazara." (Comp. 
Reland, L p. 497.) Li the epistle 17, ad Marcellum, he identifies 
the name expressly with Nezer : " Ibimiis ad Nazareth, et juxta 
interpretationem nominis ejus videbemus Jiorem Galilcea;." 3. To 
these considerations we add that the gentiUtia formed from Naza- 
reth can be explained only when the n is regarded as not belonging 
to the ground form of the name. For in that case it must of neces- 
sity be found in the gentiUtia ; thus e. g. from anathoth ^r^^V could 
in no way be formed, but only ''nr\^;\ In the New Testament we 
find only the two forms JSfa'QoiQcuoq and Na'Cag7]v6g, never Na^agnuicg. 
Gieseler has felt the difficulty which these names present on the 
common hypothesis, but has sought to remove it (1. c. p. 592) by 
the supposition, that the form received its peculiar stamp from 
regard to '^'H^, which the early Christians were accustomed to con- 
nect with ni:^J- But this supposition would, at most, be admissible 
only in case the form ''1VJ, also without n, were not the exclusive 
one among the Jews, and the Arabic form also were not entirely 

We may now inquire in what sense i^ was given to a place 
in Galilee as a proper name. Here the supposition of Jerome is 
undoubtedly to be rejected, viz. that Nazareth was so called as 
being the Jlower of Galilee ; partly because IVJ never occurs in this 
sense ; and partly because it is improbable, that the place should 
receive a name which could be appropriate to it only y.uT uvzlcpQaaiv. 
It is far more probable that it was thus called on account of its being 
so small a place, — a feeble twig in contrast with a stately tree. 
In this sense the word IVJ occurs, Isaiah 11 : 1, 14 : 19 ; and also 
in the Talmudic idiom, where D'li'J denotes virgulta salicum decor- 
ticata, vimina ex guibus corbes jiunt. Indeed there was the more 
occasion to give to the place this name, as the symbol was seen in 

4 MATTHEW 2 : 23. 

the surrounding region ; the chalky hills around Nazareth are 
covered with low shrubs and bushes, (comp. Burckhardt's Reisen, II. 
p. 583.) What these were in comparison with the stately trees 
which adorned other places, such was Nazareth in comparison with 
large cities. 

This name attributed to the place on account of its small begin- 
ning, like the name Zoar, little city, was at the same time an o?nen 
of its future character. The feeble twig never grew to be a tree. In 
the Old Testament Nazareth is never mentioned, perhaps because it 
may have been first fouiided after the exile. It is unnoticed by 
Josephus. It was not, like most other cities' in Palestine, ennobled 
by recollections of ancient time. Indeed there rested on it a special 
disgrace besides that which was common to the whole of Galilee ; 
as almost every land has its place or city to which some peculiar 
reproach attaches, often from accidental circumstances. This is 
clear, not only from the question of Nathanael, John 1 : 47, " Can 
any good thing come out of Nazareth ? " but also from the fact, 
that, from the earliest times, the Jews have supposed they were 
casting the greatest disgrace upon Christ, when they called him " the 
Nazarene " ; while the reproach resting on all Galilee was at a later 
period removed by the circumstance, that the most celebrated of the 
Jewish academics, that of Tiberias, was situated in it. 

Let us now inquire how far the residence of Christ at Nazareth 
fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies. The prophets everywhere 
declare, that the Messiah, springing from the fallen and decayed 
family of David, should appear at first without external rank or dig- 
nity. The foundation for all other similar passages is found in 
Isaiah 11 : 1. " There shall come forth a rod out of the fallen stem 
of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit; " which Q,uen- 
stedt has well illustrated in the Dissertatio de Germine JehovcB in the 
Thes. Theol. Philol. I. p. 1015, " Ubijam stemma Isai ex humilioribus 
initiis in Davide ad decus regies majestatis evectum non tantum 
axiomate regio et omni externa splendorc, quern in Davide acccpit, erit 
orbatum, sed etiam ad privatum conditionetn, in qua erat ante Davi- 
dem, denuo redactum, ita ut trunci omni ramorum ac frondium appa- 
ratu denudati instar se habeat, nee qtiicquam supersit prcetcr radices, 
nihilominus tamen ex illo trunco adeo acciso, et, uti vidcbatur, ptsne 
arido procedet virga rcgia, et ex illis radicibus efflorescet surculu-s, 
super quern requiescct spiritus domini,'^ etc. (Comp. Vol. I. p. 374.) 
The passage in Isaiah 53 : 2, entirely agrees with this ; " He grew 

MATTHEW 2.: 23. 5 

up before the Lord as^»a sprout, as a shoot out of a dry soil." To 
the 1XA, in ch. 11, the pAV here corresponds, to the *iwn the ^"l^p, 
to the trunk hewn down, the dry soil ; except that by this last, the 
lowliness of the servant of God is designated generally, while his 
descent from the now decayed and fallen family of David is not 
made specially prominent, though of course it is necessarily included 
in the general idea. The same idea is carried out further in Ez. 
17: 22-24. Here, as descended from the fallen family of David, 
the Messiah appears as a small and tender twig, which, plucked 
by the Lord from the top of a lofty cedar, and planted on a high 
mountain, grows up into a stately tree under which all fowls shall 
dwell. In Jeremiah and Zechariah, in allusion to the figure em- 
ployed by Isaiah of a trunk hewn down, the Messiah is called the 
Branch of David, or simply the Branch. (Comp. on Zech. 3 : 8, 6 : 
12.) It is surely only necessary here to compare prophecy and history 
to render obvious the exact accomplishment of the one by the other. 
Not at Jerusalem, where was the seat of his royal ancestors and the 
throne of his house, (comp. Ps. 122,) did the Messiah fix his abode; 
but in the most despised city of the most despised province did the 
providence of God assign his dwelling, after the prophecies had 
been fulfilled by his birth at Bethlehem. The name of this despised 
city, which implied its lowliness, was the same by which Isaiah had 
signified the original lowliness of the Messiah himself. 

We have hitherto considered the prophecies and their accom- 
plishment independently of their citation in Matthew. We now 
add a few remarks upon the latter. 

1. The more general form of quotation, to ^t^&iv diu tmv ngocfi]- 
Twv, in the plural, seems not to have been employed here without 
ground ; although Jerome infers too much from it, when he says : 
" Si Jixum de scripturis posuisset excinplum, nunquam diceret, quod 
dictum est per prophetas, sed simpUciter, quod dictum est per prophe- 
tam ; nunc aiitem pluralitei' prophetas vocando ostendit se non verba 
de scripturis sumsisse, sed sensum." It is true, that Matthew par- 
ticularly referred to Isaiah 11: 1, which not only announces gen- 
erally the lowliness of the Messiah, but also especially designates it 
in the nomen et omen of the place where he dwelt. This is evident 
from the fact, that tne quotation on, Na^wQalog aXrj&iJafTai could not 
otherwise be explained ; since it would be in the highest degree forced 
to assume, that the term " Nazarene" here signifies an humble, 
despised person in general. But he chose the more general form of 

6 MATTHEW 2 : 23. 

citation, (comp. Gersdorf, Beitr. zur Sprachcharakteristik, I. p. 136,) 
in order to denote at the same time the collateral accomplishment 
of those prophecies which agree with that of Isaiah in the chief 
point, viz. the announcement of Christ's low condition, — in his resi- 
dence at Nazareth. But such a reference shows that this was really 
the chief thing in the mind of Matthew ; and that the coincidence 
of the name of the city with that which Christ bore in Isaiah, ap- 
pears to him only as a remarkable external illustration of the exact 
connexion of prophecy and its fulfilment; just, indeed, as he con- 
siders every thing in the life of Christ, especially directed by the 
providence of God. 

2. The phrase ort ylri^r^anuj, is then likewise to be explained by 
the fact that Matthew does not limit himself to the single passage in 
Isaiah 11 : 1, but refers also to the other passages of a similar char- 
acter. The expression itself, ort xhj&^aEjai, is derived from one 
of these, viz. Zech. 6 : 12. " Behold the man whose name is 
the Branch." It is, therefore, not necessary to explain it merely 
from the custom of the later Jews,* who attribute to the Mes- 
siah as a name that which serves in the Old Testament to mark 
some quality or feature of his character, — following in this the 
custom of the prophets themselves, who often thus employ some 
quality of the Messiah in the place of a proper name. This hy- 
pothesis is untenable, because it would be difficult to produce an- 
other instance, where the evangelists, in a literal quotation, have 
intermingled any thing de propriis, relating to proper names. 

• As an illustration of this custom the following passage is highly ap- 
propriate, which we cite from Raim. Martini Pug. Fid. III. 3, 19, p. 685. 
" Dixit R. Mha nm'' dominus est nomen ejus, sicut dictum est Jerem. 23 : 6. 
R. Josua ben Levi dixit, germen est nomen ejus, sicut dictum est Zach. 6 : 12. 
Sunt, qui dicunt, consolator, filius fortitudinis dei nomen ejus, sicut dictiim est 
Thren. 1 : 16. Ex domo R. Siloh dixerunt, Siloh est nomen ejus, sicut d. est 
Gen. 49 : 10, donee veniat Siloh. Ex domo R. Chanina dixerunt, gratiosus est 
nomen ejus, sicut d. Jerem. 16 : 13. De domo R. Jannai dixerunt, Jinnon est 
nomen ejus, Ps. 72 : 17," etc. 



Zechariah, like Jeremiah and Ezekiel, was of priestly descent. 
Chap. 1:1, Berechiah is named as his father, and Iddo as his 
grandfather. The latter, among the exiles who returned with Joshua 
and Zerubbabel, filled the respectable office of overseer of a class 
of priests; comp. Neh. 12: 4. That Berechiah died early appears 
from the fact, that v. 16. the same Zechariah is mentioned as imme- 
diate successor of Iddo in this office, under Joiachim, successor of 
Joshua. Accordingly Zechariah, at least in his later years, exer- 
cised, together with the prophetic, a priestly office also. This early 
death and the comparative obscurity of the father explain why, Ezr. 
5 : 1, the descent of this prophet is referred immediately to the 
grandfather, according to a practice occurring elsewhere in similar 
cases. (See Beitr. 1, p. 47.) 

The discourse, which opens the collection of the prophecies of 
Zechariah, was held, according to chap. 1:1, in the eighth month of 
the second year of Darius, beyond all doubt Darius the son of Hystas- 
pes. See the almost unnecessary refutation of the strange assumption 
of Scaliger, that the prophet came forward under Darius Nothus, in 
Vorstius, De Tempore Instaurati Templi Hierosolymitani, and Vitrin- 
ga, Prolegg. p. 15, sqq. We may well be convinced, that this was also 
the commencement of his course as a prophet. This appears, partly 
from the character of the discourse, which in its general tenor is 
clearly a preparatory introduction, and partly from the chronological 
arrangement of the collection, apparent from the superscriptions of 
the second and third prophecy, chap. 1 : 7, and chap. 7:1, which 
prove that the predictions, chap. 9-14, which are without date, 
belong to a period subsequent to the foregoing. 

The prophet must have been still young when he first came for- 
ward. For his grandfather Iddo was then in the full discharge of 


the duties of his office, as appears from the fact already mentioned, 
that Zechariah was his immediate successor. In addition to this, 
the prophet, chap. 2 : S, is expressly called a young man. As now 
according to Nehem. 12 : 4, comp. with v. 1, the family of the prophet 
returned to Judea with the first expedition of the exiles in the first 
year of Cyrus, which was eighteen years previous to the second year 
of Darius the son of Hystaspes, Zechariah can have passed only the 
first years of his childhood in Babylonia, and consequently the Baby- 
lonish coloring of his prophecies was owing, not as Bertholdt and De 
Wette suppose, to his having received his education in Babylonia, 
but rather, in some degree, to the continuation of the Babylonish 
influence on the body of the exiles, though chiefly to the depen- 
dence which he everywhere manifests on earlier prophets, especially 
Ezekiel, who stood in immediate contact with the Babylonians. 

Let us now consider the historical relations, under which the 
prophet came forward, and upon which he was called to operate. 
The advantages, which had been granted to the exiles by the com- 
mand of Cyrus in respect to the rebuilding of the temple, were soon 
wrested from them through the machinations of their enemies, the 
Samaritans, in the Persian court. They were deficient in means to 
carry forward the erection of the temple, and still more in theocratic 
zeal ; this had been already greatly damped, soon after the return, 
by the obstacles which unexpectedly occurred, while they believed 
themselves justified by the former promises in expecting nothing but 
prosperity and happiness. Each one was selfishly intent only on 
the improvement of his own affairs. Under these circumstances, 
and in this tone of the public mind, the repeal of the prohibition 
to build the temple, in consequence of the accession of Darius the son 
of Hystaspes to the throne, which had been promulgated under his 
predecessor, the usurper Smerdis, contributed but little to advance 
the work. It was necessary still, that a powerful influence should 
be exerted on the minds of the people. For this purpose were the 
prophets Haggai and Zechariah called of God ; of whom the former, 
at whose exhortation the building of the temple was immediately 
recommenced, came forward two months earlier than the latter. 
Zechariah, as becomes a true prophet of God, has in view, through- 
out, not the advancement of the outward work, as such; he aims to 
produce among the people a thorough spiritual revolution, the fruit 
of which must be an increased zeal for the building of the temple. 
Those, on whom the prophet was called to operate, belonged to two 


classes. First, the upright, and true believers. These had fallen into 
great despondency and strong temptations, in consequence of the 
apparent contradiction between the divine promises and the actual 
appearance of things. They doubted both the power and the will of 
God to help them. It would often appear to them, that their own sins 
and those of their fathers were so great, that God could not again 
show them mercy. Here, where the prophet had to deal with 
troubled consciences, his office was to console. This he does, while 
he points from the gloomy present to the brighter future ; and, while 
resuming the yet unfulfilled portion of the former prophecies, he 
represents the fulfilment as yet to be accomplished. The objects 
of his prediction are particularly the happy completion of the tem- 
ple ; the increase of the new colony by the return of the exiles 
remaining in Babylon ; the preservation of Judea during the victories 
of Alexander, so destructive to the neighbouring nations ; the inde- 
pendence of the people, to be won by the triumphs of the Maccabees ; 
the blessings, which the believing part of them should receive 
through the Messiah, immediately on his first appearance ; the final 
■restoration of the ungodly part, once rejected on account of their 
disbelief in the Messiah ; the protection and prosperity, which God 
will grant to Israel, when they shall have again become the centre 
and most important part gf the kingdom of God. This aspect of the 
prediction of the prophet was the more weighty, the stronger were 
the assaults which threatened the faith of even the upright, in that 
future period when there would be no immediate ambassadors of God, 
and the more they needed a sure prophetic word to illuminate the 
darkness of their faith. The second class consisted of the hypo- 
crites. These had returned in no less numbers from Babylonia, 
induced, not by the true motive, the iove of God and his sanctuary,* 
but by selfishness, the hope of sharing in all the blessings of God 
promised to those who returned, which they expected immediately, 
and in which, in their foolish delusion, notwithstanding the most 
emphatic declarations of the older prophets, they believed they had 
a right to participate, because they renounced gross idolatry, and 
exchanged it for that more refined, which consisted in the outward 
righteousness of works. It could not but happen that even then, in 
many instances, the disappointed hope would strip from unbelief 
the mask of hypocrisy. Still more frequently, however, must this 
be the case at a later period. For these, also, the prophet describes 
the future blessings of God, in order to excite them to true conver- 

VOL. II. 2 


sioii. But at the same time that he most emphatically declares, that 
this conversion alone can give them a part in these blessings, he re- 
minds them of the judgments, which had fallen upon those who de- 
rided the warnings of the former prophets, he threatens them with 
new and equally fearful punishments, a new destruction of Jerusa- 
lem, and a new dispersion of the people, after they shall have des- 
pised the last and greatest manifestation of divine mercy, the send- 
ing of the Messiah, 

With respect to the arrangement of the prophecies, the collection 
consists of foiir parts, distinguished by the time of composition ; of 
which the second and the fourth, through the difference of object 
and the new application given to the discourse, fall again into dif- 
ferent subdivisions, yet connected together, not only by being com- 
posed at the same time, but also by the similarity of the mode of 
representation and by their relations. 1. The inaugural discourse 
of the prophet, chap. 1 : 1-7, held in the eighth month of the second 
year of Darius ; on what day is uncertain. 2. The emblematic 
portion of the collection, chap. 1 : 7 — 6, consisting of a^ series of 
visions, partly, as chap. 1 -4, of a consoling and encouraging, partly, 
as chap. 5, of a threatening character, all imparted to the prophet 
in one night, the 24th of the eleventh month in the second year of 
Darius. 3. A discourse, at the same time didactic and prophetic, 
chap. 7, 8, held in the fourth year of Darius, occasioned by the 
earnest inquiry of the people, whether they should still observe the 
day of the destruction of Jerusalem as a day of fasting and mourn- 
ing, or whether so favorable a turn of their fortune was now soon 
to be expected, that the former adversity would thereby be forgotten. 
4. A prophetic picture of the future destiny of the covenant people, 
essentially like the second discourse, so that no chief point of that 
is wanting in this, but differing from it, partly in the method of the 
representation, — here the ordinary prophetic discourse, there a 
series of visions, — partly in the omission here of the distinct refer- 
ence to the building of the temple, both in the exhortation and the 
prophecy. From this, taken in connexion with the position of the 
prophecy, at the end of the collection, we are authorized to conclude, 
that it was composed after the completion of the temple, therefore 
in every event after the sixth year of Darius, Hence it may be 
explained why the prophecy is without date. This was of impor- 
tance in the three preceding discourses. In the first, because 
thereby the terminus a quo of the agency of the prophet was deter- 


mined, vvhich-is noted, even by prophets who were accustomed else- 
where to subjoin no mark of time, comp. e. g. Isaiah, chap, 6. In 
the second, because it contained the promise, without doubt a few 
years afterwards fulfilled, of the happy completion of the temple by 
Zerubbabel. In the third, because the inquiry of the people was 
occasioned by definite circumstances existing in the fourth year of 
Darius. In the fourth discourse, on the contrary, which, as what 
was predicted in the second, as the nearest future, had already be- 
come the past, related only to events of the more distant future, it 
was entirely sufficient to know only in general the age of the 
prophet, which was already shown by the former notes of time. 

Among the Jewish interpreters especially we find the loudest 
complaints of the obscurity of the prophet. Thus Abarbanel on 
Dan. chap. 11, remarks, " Vaticinia ZacharicB usque adco sunt 
abscondita, ut omnes .interpretes, quantumvis periti, manus sicas in 
explicationibus suis non invenerint,'^ (Ps. 76 : 6.) And Jarchi, 
" Prophetia ZacharicB valde absfrusa est ; sunt cnim in ilia visiones 
somniis similes, in quibus opus est interpretatione. Et nos non 
poterimus assequi veram ejus inferpretationem, donee venerit doctor 
justiti(B," (the Messiah, from Joel 2 : 23.) But the ground of this 
assertion, as the last words of Jarchi plainly disclose, was one 
which existed chiefly in themselves. The more the reference to 
Christ prevails in Zechariah, the more impenetrable must his ob- 
scurity be to those who deprive themselves of the light of the fulfil- 
ment, and, having formed their notion of a Messiah according to 
the desires of their own hearts, necessarily misunderstand and per- 
vert what here occurs,, in contradiction to their preconceived opin- 
ions, respecting the true Messiah, his humble condition and his 
death, his rejection by the greater portion of the covenant people, 
and the judgments inflicted upon them in consequence. The later 
rationalist interpreters find this ground of obscurity so far in com- 
mon with the Jews, as that they also must anxiously strive to avoid 
perceiving too exact an agreement between the prophecy and the 
fulfilment, or any thing, which, like the humble Messiah, rejected 
by the covenant people, and suffering death, cannot be explained 
by attributing it to human foresight. In addition to this, their 
view of the prophetic order is any thing but suited to make them 
disposed to overcome the difficulties that really exist, by imploring 
the divine aid, and by using the utmost diligence. How entirely 
must the efforts, and consequently the results also, of a De VVette, 


who pronounces beforehand, that the last part contains enthusiastic 
predictions, which mock all historical interpretation, differ from 
those of a Vitringa, who says (Proll. p. 60) : " Nee tamen ohscuritas 
studiosum veri ahsterret ah investigatione genuini sensus propheticc, 
dum eerto constat, subesse ei sensum reeonditum rerum proistantissi- 
marum, quas quilibet non ineuriosus veri scire velit, si liceat.'^ It 
is, moreover, not to be lost sight of, that though Zechariah, on ac- 
count of the prevalence of symbolical and figurative language, as well 
as the roughness and abruptness of his style, is, in a degree, more 
obscure than the other prophets, yet the interpretation of him is facil- 
itated by two circumstances, almost peculiar to himself. In the first 
place, a careful comparison of the parallel passages in the interpreta- 
tion of this prophet, who leaned upon his predecessors, gives more 
decisive results, than in that of any other. Then, as he lived after the 
exile, he does not embrace in his prophecy nearly so large a circle 
of events, as those who flourished at an earlier period. The dare 
obscure, which e. g. in the second part of Isaiah, and in Jeremiah 
and Ezekiel, arose from the circumstance, that the whole series of 
future blessings, namely, the deliverance from captivity, and the 
Messianic time, were presented to them in one vision, here, where 
the prophet takes his position between the two events, in a great 
measure disappears. 

It now only remains to mention some of the most important 
aids in the interpretation. With respect to Jerome, Theodoret, 
Grotius, and Calvin, we refer the reader to Vol. I. p. 283, The 
commentary of Calvin on the lesser prophets is far more care- 
fully labored, than that on Isaiah. What especially distinguishes 
it, is the life and reality with which it exhibits the relation of 
the prophet to those for whom his predictions were in the first 
instance designed. In the developement of the hortatory portion he 
is here also far happier, than in that of the strictly prophetic ; his 
aversion to ail forced interpretation, which arose from his love of 
truth in exegesis, rendered him so distrustful of the earlier inter- 
preters, who were often guilty of this fault in order to make out a 
reference to Christ, that, much more frequently than in Isaiah, and 
in about the same way as in his commentary on the Psalms, he 
deviates from them even where their interpretation rests upon the 
surest ground, and he everywhere endeavours to give to special 
prophecies a general meaning. In the interpretation of Zechariah, 
the defective nature of his helps, and of his knowledge of languages, 


which were insufficient for the removal of the philological difficul- 
ties, which are by no means small, stood in his way ; as did also 
the prevailing symbolical and figurative character of the prophet, 
which was little suited to the peculiarity of his mind. But, notwith- 
standing all these disadvantages, his commentary, the work of a 
Calvin, yields a rich profit ; and the more so, since it has been either 
entirely neglected, or only very superficially and partially compared 
by the later interpreters, even, which is very surprising, by those of 
the reformed church. 

Among the Fathers, Cyril of Alexandria yet deserves to be men- 
tioned. His commentary on the minor prophets, was printed first 
at Ingolstadt, 1607, fol., then in the t.IlL, Opp. cd. Auherti. Among 
a crowd of allegorical interpretations of the Septuagint are found 
many fine remarks. 

Of the Lutheran church after Luther (Werke, Walch Bd. 6, p, 
3292 fr.),and Melancthon (Vorlesungen iiber den Sacharjah, Opp. t. 
11. p. 531 sq.), whose works, it must be confessed, afford in the main, 
little satisfaction, especially those of the latter, consisting of few 
pages, and designed only to exhibit some loci communes out of the 
prophet, Tarnov deserves to be mentioned. His Commentare zu 
den kl. Pr., first separately, and then collectively, published by Carp- 
zov (L. 1688, 1706), surpassed all that had preceded, and furnished 
a good basis for future labors. Besides these, we mention the 
Commentar von Ch. B. Michaelis in den Biblia Halcnsia, which 
is still the best help for a cursory reading of the Old Testament. 
As the Commentar zu den kl. Pr. is among the rest the most distin- 
guished, so again, that on Zechariah is preferable to those on the 
other minor prophets. It exhibits a careful use of what had before 
been done, sound judgment, far less doctrinal prejudice, than • e. g. 
in the Commentar iiber den Psalmen, and in general in the books 
commented upon by J. H. Michaelis; and, what in the case of 
Zechariah is altogether the chief excellence, a diligent citation of 
the parallel passages, which are not to be found so fully in any 
other general commentary ; but, along with these excellences, he has 
indeed his defects; a want of imagination, producing peculiarly in- 
jurious consequences in the interpretation of Zechariah ; frequently 
rather the work of a compiler, than one of deep and original investiga- 
tion. Lastly, the Commentary of Burk, whose Gnomon iri Prophetas 
Minores, cum Prcef. Bengelii, Heilbr. 17.53, 4to., is indeed far inferior 
to its exemplar, which does not so well admit of an imitation as 


some others, and is particularly weak in philology, but still mani- 
fests independent study and an intimate acquaintance with the 

By far the most considerable works have proceeded from the Re- 
formed church, and indeed almost exclusively from Holland. After 
the preparatory works of Drusius, reprinted in the Critici Sacri, 
besides Grotius, almost the only interpreter of the minor prophets 
among them, a comparison of whom still rewards the labor, and 
Cocceius (his Comm. on the Proph. 3Iinores, t. III. Opp. p. 387, 
sq.), who deserves, at least, the praise of having given a whole- 
some impulse to his successors, who knew how to separate the 
wheat from the enormous mass of chaff, appeared the Commentary 
of Mark, on the minor prophets, (Amsterd. 1696- 1701, 4 Bde 4to, 
neue Aufl. mit einer Vorr. vom Kanzler Pfaff, Tub. 1734, 1 Bd. 
fol.) This is still the most important work on the minor prophets, 
a tolerably complete collection of the whole exegetical apparatus, a 
sort of catena of the earlier interpreters, and indispensable to every 
subsequent one, on account of the independent labors of the author ; 
who, in a good measure free from the exegetical aberrations then 
prevalent in Holland, and occupying the middle ground between 
the two extremes, exhibits in general a sound judgment. It has 
indeed its dark sides, of considerable importance; is tedious on ac- 
count of its prolixity and diffuseness, deficient in grammatical acute- 
ness, and hence a frequent hesitation between different interpreta- 
tions, or an inadmissible combination of them ; it often exhibits 
more diligence in compiling than independent and deep investiga- 
tion. Vitringa {Commentarii ad Libriim Pi-ophetiaruin ZacharicB, 
qu(S supcrswit. Ed. Venema. Leuw. 1734, 4to.) it is to be regretted, 
was unable to finish his work, which was broken off by his death. 
We possess only his Prolegomena, the Comm. on chap. 1, 2, and a 
Meditatio in Visum de Candelahro Aureo. Still this work is worthy 
of its pious, learned, and talented author, (comp. Th. 1, 2, p. 12.) 
The Sermones Academici vice Commentarii in Lib. Zack., of Vene- 
ma, Leuw. 1789, 4to., have not yet been seen by the author. 

We believe we need fear no contradiction, when we assert, that 
the present age has accomplished nothing for Zechariah, and indeed 
that the interpretation of him, because the diligent use of existing 
materials has been found too laborious, has considerably retrograded. 
The commentary of RosenmiJller, — not to notice the works of 
Bauer, — is, and this is the ground of its superiority to the rest, 

ZECHARIAH 1:1-6. 15 

little more than a reprint of that of Michaelis, with the omission of 
whatever did not suit the doctrinal views of the author; Eichhorn, 
who seems to have compared no other interpreter than Grotius, 
gives in his work on the Hebrew prophets only his exegetical fan- 
cies, which Theiner (die zwolf kleineren Propheten. Leipz. 1828), 
(also as an unsolicited continuation of the Brentano-Dereserschen 
Bibelwerkes, which is in many respects praiseworthy,) has for the 
most part contented himself with transcribing. The neglect of 
thorough study manifests itself in almost every thing that recent 
Lexicons and Introductions contain relating to Zechariah. 


Chap. 1 : 1-6. 

The first revelation, imparted to the prophet in the second year and 
eighth month of the reign of Darius the son of Hystaspes. This pro- 
phecy, in which the prophet warns the people not to bring upon them- 
selves the punishment of their fathers by a relapse into their sins, and 
exhorts them to turn to the Lord in sincerity, may be regarded as a 
sort of introduction, as well to the whole course of the prophet, as 
also to the collection of his prophecies. New and suspicious indi- 
cations of inward apostasy from the Lord already showed themselves 
among those who had returned. Such particularly was the negligent 
prosecution of the building of the temple, which must be combated 
by a true prophet, not separately from its source, but in the deepest 
root from which it sprung. The prophet in his later predictions 
had to furnish a succession of consoling views to the troubled and 
desponding. In order that these might not be appropriated to them- 
selves by those to whom they did not belong, and abused to the 
promotion of carnal security, it was necessary that true repentance 
should be prominently exhibited as the condition of the coming 
prosperity. The threatening of new judgments for those, who would 
not fulfil this condition, contains already in the germ all that the 
prophet in chap. 5, and chap. 11, more definitely predicts concern- 
ing a new and total desolation and destruction, which would come 
upon the land, after ungodliness should there have regained the 
ascendency, and the good shepherd have been rejected ; with this 

16 ZECHARIAH 1 ; 7-17. 

difference only, that here the threatening is conditionally, and there 
absolutely expressed, since the Lord reveals to the prophet, that the 
condition of the divine judgments, the developement of the germ 
of uncrodliness already existing in his time, would actually ensue, 
and the greatest portion of the people would not fulfil the condition 
of the prosperity by true repentance. 


Chap. 1: 7 — 6: 15. 

The second revelation, imparted to the prophet in the same year, 
in the eleventh month and twenty-fourth day, consists of a series of 
visions which all belong to one night, and furnish a complete image 
of the future destinies of the people of God, 

1. The Vision of the Rider among the Myrtle Trees. 

Chap. 1 : V. 7-17. 

In the stillness of night, when the soul, freed from the bonds 
imposed by external objects is strengthened for the contemplation 
of divine things, the prophet, not in a dream, but an ecstasy, sees a 
proud horseman on a red horse, who halts among the myrtle bushes 
of a deep valley, surrounded by red, bay, and white horses. He 
recognises, in the horseman in front, the angel of the Lord ; in 
his companions his ministering angels. He asks an angel, who 
approaches him, and makes himself known as the angelus inter- 
pres, concerning the import of the vision. By his mediation he 
receives from the angel of the Lord the disclosure, that the horse- 
men are the servants of the Lord, who traverse the whole earth to 
execute his commission. For what object, he learns from the ac- 
count which they render to the angel of the Lord, in his presence, 
and audible by him, since the angelus interpres has opened his ears. 
They have found the whole earth quiet and peaceful. From this 
account, which places the sad condition of the people of the Lord 
in a stronger light, by contrasting it with the prosperous condition 
of the heathen, the angel of the Lord takes occasion to offer an 

ZECHARIAH 1 : 7-17. 17 

intercession for the former with the Most High God, in which he 
earnestly inquires, whether, since the seventy years of affliction, 
destined by him for the people according to the prediction of his 
prophet Jeremiah, have long since passed away,* there is still no 
deliverance for them to be expected. He receives from the Lord a 
consoling answer. This is communicated by the angelus interpres, 
together with a charge to make its contents publicly known. They 
are as follows. The vengeance of the Lord shall overtake the 
nations in his own time, though they are now in a peaceful and 
prosperous condition, who have executed his commission to punish 
the covenant people, not from regard to his will, but to gratify their 
own desires, and at the same time with a malicious cruelty which 
went beyond his commands. In like manner also shall the prom- 
ises made to the covenant people be fulfilled, although they seem to 
be delayed. They shall receive rich proofs of the enduring election 
of God ; the building of the temple shall be completed ; Jerusalem 
shall arise from its ruins. 

The following remarks may promote a nearer insight into the 
import and object of this vision. It is very important in order to 
an understanding of this, as well as the following visions, to inquire 
whether the angelus interpres is identical with the angel of the 
Lord, or different from him. The former is asserted by the majority 
of interpreters (Mark, Ch. B. Michaelis, Rosenm.), the latter by 
Vitringa, with whom we decidedly agree. In favor of their identity 
the following arguments are urged. 1. Verse 9, where the prophet 
addresses the angelus interpres by " my Lord," the address must 
necessarily be directed to the angel of the Lord ; since no other 
person had been mentioned before. But in this it is overlooked, 
that in the prophecies generally, and specially in the visions agree- 
ably to their dramatic character, persons are very often introduced 
as speaking, or are spoken to, without being previously mentioned. 
2. Verse 9, the angelus interpres promises the prophet a disclosure 
concerning the import of the vision. This, however, is imparted, 

* Vitringa 1. c. p. 17 : " Est pulcherrimura Petavii aliorumque observatuni, 
periodum LXX. annorum, decretorum punitioni JudjesB gentis ad perfectum 
implementura propiietiEe bis reprsesentatara esse. A quarto Jehojachimi usqeu 
ad iiiitia Babylonica Cyri, quando dimissi sunt Judsei ex exilio, effluxerunt 
LXX. anni. Rursus totidem anni effluxerunt ab excidio templi et urbis, quod 
accidit octodecim post annis, usque ad secundum Darii Hystaspis : intersunt 
enim rursus inter initia Cyri Babylonica et Darii secundum anni octodecim," 
VOL. H. 3 

18 ZECHARIAH 1 : 7-17. 

V. 10, by the angel of the Lord, who must therefore be identical 
with the angelus interpres. But it is said, v. 9, " I will make thee 
to see, what these are." This relates to the opening of the spiritual 
eyes and ears of the prophet. Until this was done by the avgelus 
interpres the prophet would not be able to understand the declaration 
of the angel of the Lord, and the report made to him by the minis- 
tering angels ; comp. chap. 4:1, according to which the angelus in- 
terpres awakens the prophet, as a man who is awakened from sleep. 
3. According to v. 12, the angel of the Lord presents an interces- 
sion to the Most High God for the covenant people. According to 
V. 13, the Lord returns to the angelus interpres, good, consoling 
words ; but now it is not to be supposed, that he who receives the 
answer is any other than he who makes the inquiry. It may, 
however, here be assumed, either with Vitringa, that the prophet 
has only omitted the circumstance, that the answer was in tho first 
place directed to the angel of the Lord, and afterwards conveyed by 
him to the angelus interpres, or, which is more probable, that the 
Lord directed the answer immediately to the angelus interpres, be- 
cause the angel of the Lord had inquired, not indeed on his own 
account, but only in order to impart consolation and hope through 
the angelus interpres to the prophet, and through him to the people. 

On the contrary the following arguments go to prove the angelus 
interpres to be different from the angel of the Lord. 

1. Even the constant designation of the angelus intei-pres by 
" the angel, who spake with me," serves to designate him as a 
different person from the angel of the Lord. This would not be 
the case, if the designation occurred only where an address of the 
angel to the prophet had preceded. But its occurrence elsewhere 
also, comp. e. g. v. 9, 13, shows, that it relates not to a single 
action, but to the office of the angel, — angelus collocutor or inter- 
pres. In order to make the designation known as a name of office, 
the prophet employs it exclusively, without the smallest deviation, 
without ever exchanging the construction of the verb im with 3, 
for that with D;^ or nx, elsewhere common, which may be explained 
by the circumstance, that the words were carefully treasured up in 
the mind of the hearer. 

"2. Chap. 2 : 5 - 8, is entirely decisive. The prophet there sees a 
form occupied in measuring the future circumference of Jerusalem. 
The angelus interpres withdraws himself from the prophet, in order 
to make inquiries for him concerning the import of the vision. But 

ZECHARIAH 1 : 7-17. 19 

he has not yet reached his goal, when another angel meets him 
with the command ; " Run, say to this young man," &c. The 
identity of the angclus interprcs with the angel of the Lord being 
assumed, the hitter would receive commands in an authoritative 
tone from an inferior angel, which is entirely irreconcilable with 
the high dignity, in which he elsewhere constantly appears, and 
particularly in Zechariah. To this it must be added, tiiat he, who 
measures Jerusalem, is, in all probability, the angel of the Lord 
himself. This being assumed, his identity with the angclus inter- 
prcs becomes the more improbable, since the latter is with the 
propliet at first, and afterwards withdraws from him, to make inqui- 
ries about the vision. 

3. It is remarkable, that a divine work or a divine name is never 
attributed to the angclus inttrpres, as to the angel of the Lord, that 
his agency is always confined to communicating higher commands 
to the prophet, and giving him insight into the visions, which are 
never through him, but always through the Lord, (comp. 3 : 3, 3: 
1,) presented to the inward contemplation of the prophet. 

4. The result already obtained is confirmed by a comparison of it 
with what occurs in other writings of the Old Testament. We 
have already seen. Vol. 1, p. 1G7, that, Exod. 32 : 34, another angel 
is associated with the highest revealer of God, the angel of the 
Lord, as standing to him in the same relation which he sustains 
to the Most High God. But what is found in Daniel on this sub- 
ject is peculiarly important in the interpretation of Zechariah. 
The angel of the Lord, the great Prince, who represents his people, 
chap. 12: 1, comp. Zech. 1 : 12, appears there under the symboli- 
cal name of Michael. As a mediator between him (who is present 
for the most part in silent majesty, and only sometimes, as here, 
speaking a few words) and the prophet, Gabriel appears, whose 
office it is to interpret the visions to Daniel, and enable him to 
understand them; comp. 8: 16, 9:21. (Beitr. 1, p. 165 ff".) We 
would already there have directed the attention to the accurate 
agreement between Daniel and Zechariah in this respect, the more 
remarkable on account of the manifest independence of both, if we 
had at that time, as we have been enabled to do since, attained to 
a certain result in reference to Zechariah. 

The angel of the Lord halts on a red horse among the myrtle 
bushes, in a deep valley. The latter is a striking image of the 
Theocracy, — not a proud cedar on a high mountain, but a, 

20 ZECHARIAH 1 : 7-17. 

yet lovely myrlle in a deep valley. Similar is the comparison of the 
Theocracy with the still waters of Siloa, in contrast with the roar- 
ing waters of the Euphrates. Is. chap. 8. While outward splendor 
surrounded the kingdoms of the world, the kingdom of God was 
always small and obscure, and appeared, especially at that time, to 
be near its extinction. That the angel of the Lord halts among the 
myrtle bushes, indicates the high protection which the church of 
God, helples.s in itself, enjoys. The import of the appearance of the 
angel of the Lord as sitting on a horse, and indeed on a red horse, 
we cannot better express than in the words of Theodoret : jovtov 
oQn inoxoVfjEvov flip 'imioj dia tijv oSi'xTjTa rav dgw^ivcov, to Si rot/ 
tViTTOU nVQ^ov TTjV VMTU Twv TioXefilMV e&vcov ayavay.Ttiaiv 8i]Xoi ' vcpat- 
1.10V yuQ xnl vnifjvdQov to -S^v^ondig. Red is the color of blood ; in 
red garments, Is. 63 ; the angel of the Lord comes from Bozrah, after 
he has crushed the enemies of his kingdom ; on a red horse, Apoc. 
G : 4, Satan appears, to whom it is given to take peace from the 
earth, that men shall slay each other, and who bears a great sword. 
By tha color of -the horse, therefore, is symbolized what the angel 
of the Lord, v. 15, says of himself: "I am inflamed with great 
wrath against the secure and quiet nations," comp. Is. 47 : 6. The 
inferior angels, which surrounded the angel of the Lord, symbolize 
the thought, that all means for the prosperity of his people, and 
the destruction of his enemies, are at his command. The color of 
their horses signifies the judgments impending over the latter, about 
to be executed with victorious might. White is the color of victory ; 
comp. Apoc. 6 : 2 ; " And 1 saw, and behold a white horse : and he 
that sat on him had a bow ; and a crown was given unto him : and 
he went forth conquering, and to conquer." That the angels are 
sent to spy out the condition of the earth, and that they bring back 
the answer, that the whole earth is at rest, is designed to symbolize 
the thought, that it is now time for the accomplishment of the 
promises in favor of the covenant people, and the threatenings 
against their enemies. There reigned in the second year of Darius 
a general peace ; all the nations of the former Chaldean kingdom 
enjoyed a peaceful and uninterrupted prosperity. Even the Baby- 
lonians (that to them the words, " the whole earth is at rest," prin- 
cipally refer, appears from v. 15. Jun. and Trem. appropriately 
remark : " Delitias agit Buhylonius et quisquis advcrsarius ecdesicE, 
dum ecclesia tua maximis tempestatibus agitatur") had soon recover- 
ed from the disadvantages they had suffered from the capture 

ZECHARIAH 1 : 7-17. 21 

of the city by Cyrus, which was still rich and prosperous. Judea 
alone, the seat of the people of God, exhibited a mournful aspect ; 
the capital still lay for the most part in ruins; no protecting walls 
surrounded it ; the building of the temple, which had been some 
months before recommenced at the exhortation of Haggai, had 
hitherto been obstructed by difficulties, which the dispirited people 
despaired of being able to overcome; the number of inhabitants was 
but small ; the greatest portion of the land still lay waste ; comp. 
Neh. chap. 1. This state of things must have been a great temp- 
tation to the pious ; and have served the wicked as an excuse for 
their ungodliness; comp. Mai. 3: 17, where the latter inquire, 
" Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and 
he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?" and 
3 : 15, " Therefore we praise only the despisers, for the ungodly in- 
crease, they tempt God and all goes well with them." It required 
great strength of faith, under such circumstances, not to doubt 
either the truth of God or his omnipotence. His promises to the 
covenant people had only begun, and that in a small degree, to be 
fulfilled by their return ; his predicted judgments upon Babylon 
extended much farther than to a mere capture of the city, and even 
this beginning of their fulfilment had apparently ceased, since the 
city was continually regaining its former prosperity. To counteract 
the temptations, destructive of all active zeal for the Theocracy, 
which this condition of things must bring with it, is the object of the 
prophecy. That the angel of the Lord appears as protector of his 
people, afforded them of itself a rich source of consolation. That he 
presented an intercession for his people, showed still more clearly, 
that the time of compassion was at hand. For his intercession can- 
not be in vain, nor the will of God unknown to him. By the 
answer, which the Lord imparts to him, must every remnant of fear 
and despondency be removed ; it showed, that his promises and 
threatenings though gradually, and at the time determined in his 
holy and wise counsel, would yet certainly be fulfilled. We have 
now still to remark a few words concerning the fulfilment. Its com- 
mencement ensued even in the nearest future. The rebellion of 
the Babylonians under Darius the son of Hystaspes, brought the 
city near to its predicted entire destruction. Not to insist that it 
may be regarded as a consequence of the capture by Cyrus, it in- 
flicted upon the city still deeper wounds. A great slaughter was 
occasioned and its walls were destroyed. The building of the tern- 

22 ZECHARIAH 2: 1-4. 

pie was happily completed in the sixth year of Darius. The arrival 
of Ezra, and somewhat later, that of Nehemiah, who restored the 
walls of the city, and greatly increased its population, were a strong 
proof to the people of the divine mercy, and a sign of their endur- 
ing election. But we must not seek for the fulfilment in all its 
extent at this early period. The prophecies of Zechariah, like those 
of the earlier prophets, embrace the whole complexus of the salva- 
tion and of the judgments of God, with the exclusion only of what 
had already taken place, as, namely, the capture of Babylon and 
the return of the covenant people. What, therefore, is here said in 
reference to the anger of the Lord upon Babylon, and the remaining 
enemies of the kingdom of God, has its completion only in their 
entire destruction ; what is said of the renewed mercy of God 
towards his people, in the sending of the Messiah. The beginning 
of the fulfilment in the nearest future served the people for a pledge 
of the certainty of its completion. 

2. The Four Horns and the Four Smiths. 

Chap. 2: v. 1 -4. 

This vision also is of a consoling import. The prophet sees four 
horns, and receives from the angclus inicrpres the disclosure, that 
they signify the enemies of the kingdom of God. He then sees 
four smiths, who break the horns in pieces. The sense is obvious. 
The enemies of the people of God shall be punished for their 
crimes ; the Lord will secure his feeble church against every assault. 
So far all interpreters agree ; the number of the horns, or of the 
enemies, has, however, occasioned a multitude of arbitrary hypothe- 
ses. The true interpretation was seen even by Theodoret : Tiaaaga 
8e Xiysi, ovx i&vwv rivuv ccgi&^ov dijXcov, all imidi] riaaaga xrjq oixov- 
^ivTig T« Tfi-qfiara, to eo)OV, to sanigiov, to votiov, to ^ogsiov, sTtijX&ov 
de amoHq ol fiev tv&sv, ol Se txsl&sv, tiote (ih "Aaavgioi xul Bafiv- 
Xarioi, TiOTS ds ^AlXocfvXoi, xal Alyvnxioi, uXXots ds 'idovuaioi xal Moiu- 
^TUi xul A^^iKOflrai, xiaaaga xigocTu Tovg iv. twj' XEoaugoiv T^imuxcov 
aiiTolg ijifX&ovxag ngoGi]y6givaE. That the number of the horns 
relates to the fact, that the covenant people were surrounded by 
enemies on all sides, all quarters of the heavens, appears from v. 
10 ; " According to all the four winds have I scattered you ; " but 
still more clearly from chap. 6, as we shall there see. 

Z ECH ARIA H 2 : 5 - 17. 2 3 

3. The Angel with the Measuring Line. 

Chap. 2 : V. 5 - 17. 

The symbolical apparatus is here but small. The prophet, like 
Ezekiel before him, chap. 40 : 3, sees a form employed in measur- 
ing the future circumference of Jerusalem, since its present limits 
will not be sufficient when the city shall be enlarged by the mercy 
of the Lord. This form is in all probability none other than the 
angel of the Lord; that the employment is entirely suited to him, 
who, as the protecting Lord of the covenant people should accom- 
plish this enlargement, needs no proof. His sending an inferior 
angel to the angelus interpres, and imparting commands to him, 
indicates a higher dignity than that of an inferior angel. We then 
have the advantage of an accurate agreement with Dan. chap. 12, 
where entirely the same persons appear in action, Michael, the 
angel of the Lord, in company with Gabriel, the angelus interpres, 
and another angel, (comp. Beitr. 1, p. 167 fT.) The angelus inter- 
pres, who had hitherto remained with the prophet, who was a some- 
what distant spectator of the scene, withdraws himself from him, in 
order to receive from the angel of the Lord a disclosure concerning 
the import of his conduct. But scarcely has he departed, when the 
angel of the Lord sends him this disclosure by another angel, with, 
the command to impart it to Zechariah. From the designation of 
the latter, in the discourse of the angel, as " this young man," 
the youthful age of Zechariah at the time has been justly inferred ; 
but still there is certainly something else also as the ground of this 
designation. This was perceived by Jerome, who remarks, " Ad 
com-parationem dignitatis angelictx onine^n humanam naturam pueri- 
tiam vocari, quia non angeli in nos, sed nos in angclos prqficimus." 
In like manner, Vitringa : " Hominem hrevis mvi mxdtarum rerum 
imperitum, ccelestium maxime ignarum non tarn contetntus, quam dif- 
fer entice causa appellat i;?J, et liceat dicere rudem, multa docendum, 
quo eodem sensu Ezechiel passim DTX p appellatur." The inter- 
preters have erred only in adopting exclusively one of the two 
references. The youthful age of the prophet is made prominent, 
because youth is a type of the condition of man in relation to God 
and his holy angels. What the other angel imparts to the angelus 
interpres for Zechariah, is as follows ; the city shall be extended far 

24 ZECHARIAH 2 : 5-17. 

beyond its previous limits and protected and glorified by the Lord. 
This should excite all the Jews remaining behind in Babylon to a 
speedy return to their native land, that they may participate vs^ith 
their brethren in the promised blessings, and escape the judgments 
which the Lord has determined upon Babylon, and all the other 
nations, who have showed themselves hostile tcf the covenant people. 
Lastly, Jerusalem shall experience the highest exaltation from the 
fact, that tlie Lord himself shall make her his dwelling-place, the 
consequence of which will be, that many nations shall join themselves 
to the Theocracy when glorified by his presence. We have yet some 
remarks to make on this prediction. 1. " Flee out of the north country, 
deliver thyself from Babylon," v. 10, 11, points to a great calamity 
coming upon Babylon. That such a calamity actually fell upon the 
city under the reign of Darius the son of Hystaspes, we have already 
seen. With these words, v. 13, 13, are connected by the causative 

0, since the general proposition, the annunciation that the angel 
of the Lord would punish the enemies of his people for their crimes, 
and indeed in such a manner, that they would fall under the power 
of Israel, as it happened in respect to several neighbouring people 
in the time of the Maccabees, constitutes the ground of the special 
direction which had preceded. Hence it appears with what justice 
some have denied the genuineness of the second part of Zechariah, 
because several nations are threatened in it with divine judgments, 
who in his time were subject to the Persians. If their independence 
could hence be inferred, so also could that of the Babylonians from 
this prophecy and the foregoing, and, therefore, even the first part 
could not belong to Zechariah. 2. The prediction of prosperity 
for Jerusalem here also relates in the end to the time of the Mes- 
siah. We must refer exclusively to this time what is said, v. 14, 15, 
of the dwelling of the Lord with Jerusalem, and the consequent 
pressing of the heathen nations to the Theocracy, as a splendid 
demonstration of the divine mercy, which, according to v. 17, all 
flesh shall behold with astonishment and wonder. That he, who 
will glorify the Theocracy by his presence, is the angel of the Lord, 
the sharer of his dignity and his name, who, according to the pre- 
diction of the prophet, shall appear in the Messiah (comp. Vol. 

1. p. 183), is evident from v. 15, " And then will I dwell in the 
midst of thee, and thou shalt experience, that the Lord of Sabaoth 
has sent me to thee." According to this, he, who will dwell in the 
midst of the covenant people, in like manner as he was formerly 


ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 25 

present among them in the pillar of cloud and of fire, is the same, 
who, being now sent from the Most High God, brings to the people, 
through the prophet, this glorious message, and who, in v. 14, is 
called Jehovah, and is here distinguished from him as the ambassa- 
dor from him who sends him. That he is identical with the Messiah, 
appears from chap. 9 : 9, where the arrival of the latter is announced 
to the people in almost the same words; here : " Sing and rejoice, 
O daughter of Zion, for behold I come ; " there : " Rejoice greatly, 
O daughter of Zion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem, behold the 
king Cometh unto thee." 

Chap. 11 gives a further explanation, according to which the an- 
gel of the Lord appearing in the person of the Messiah among the 
people, with whom he had hitherto been invisibly present, and whom 
he had represented before God, undertakes to exercise the office of 
shepherd over them. While here, in chap. 9, only the bright side, 
there, in accordance with chap. 5, at the same time the dark side, the 
unbelief of the greatest part of the pffople in the manifested Messiah, 
and his rejection, is prominently exhibited. The reference of the 
prophecy to the Messianic times was acknowledged by the older 
Jewish interpreters in Jerome, as well as by Kimchi and Abarbanel. 

4. The High Priest Joshua before the Angel of the Lord. 
Chap. 3. 

V. 1. " And (the Lord) showed me Joshua, the high priest, standing 
before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand 
to oppose him." The fut. with vav convers. closely connects this 
vision with the foregoing, and gives us one of g, series of visions 
granted to the prophet in the same night. The subject in, "• he 
showed me," is without doubt the Lord, as the Seventy and Jerome 
have already perceived. It is the most natural, because he had men- 
tioned him immediately before, and indeed in a sentence with which 
the vav convers. connects. In addition to this is the comparison of 
chap. 2:3, " The Lord showed me four smiths." According to the 
common supposition, the subject is the angelus collocutor ; but uni- 
formly only the interpretation, not the presenting of the images, be- 
longs to him. The expression ^njn \r\2r\ stands here, as v. 8, and 
chap. 6 : 11, with peculiar emphasis. It shows, that Joshua is not 
here considered according to his person, but his office ; not according 

VOL. II. 4 

26 ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 

to his private, but his public character. The phrase, " standing be- 
fore the angel of the Lord," is, for the most part, misunderstood by 
interpreters, They regard it as a judicial expression ; the angel of the 
Lord is supposed to appear as a judge, Satan as an accuser, Joshua 
as one accused. Considerable injury has thus been done to the inter- 
pretation of the whole vision. The expression, "to stand before any 
one," is never spoken of the appearance of the accused before the 
judge, but rather always of the appearance of the servant before the 
lord, to tender him his services and await his commands. Comp. 
e. g. Gen. 41 : 46, " Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before 
Pharaoh." 1 Sam. 16: 21, " And David came to Saul and stood 
before him, and he loved him greatly, and he became his armour- 
bearer." 1 Kings 1 : 28, 10 : 8, Deut. 1 : 38. But the phrase 
is most frequently employed in reference to the service of the Lord ; 
thus of the prophets, 1 Kings 17: 1, " Elias said. As the Lord liveth, 
before whom I stand," Jer. 18 : 20. Of the whole people, 2 Chron. 
20 : 13 ; but chiefly of the priests, for whose service it became a 
technical term; comp. Deut. 10: 8, "At this time the Lord 
separated from the tribe of Levi, — to stand before the Lord, to 
serve him, and to bless in his name." 2 Chron. 29:11: "My 
sons be not slack, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before 
him, to serve him, and present to him incense." Ps. 135 : 2, 
" The servants of the Lord who stand in the house of the Lord." 
Judges 20 : 27, " Phineas stood before the Lord at that time." 
Deut. 17 : 12. Accordingly the prophet here also sees the high 
priest Joshua, as such, engaged in serving the angel of the Lord, 
who, V. 2, appears under the name Jehovah, which belongs to 
God alone, and who, v. 4, ascribes to himself a work exclusively 
divine, the forgiveness of sins. Joshua implores his mercy for 
himself and the people, and presents to him prayers and inter- 
cession. Theodoret, rag vtisq tov Xaov ■nQsa^siug nQoacpiqav tw 
^fM. The correctness of this interpretation is confirmed by v. 4, 
where 'JisS nnj> in like manner occurs of the service of the Lord. 
The following also ; " and Satan stood at (properly over) his right 
hand," is commonly misunderstood. Proceeding on the supposi- 
tion already shown to be false, that a judicial trial is here repre- 
sented, this has been referred to an alleged custom of the ancient 
Hebrews, for which, however, there is no proof, in accordance with 
which the accuser stood on the right hand of the accused. The 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 27 

truth was seen by Werner in his valuable treatise,* De Josua Summo 
Sacercl. ex Zacli. 3 : 8. Jena, 1741 ; '^ Locus ad dcxtcram commodissi- 
mus est ei, qui alium in opcrc suo pi-omovere vuU, vel impcdire." 
(Comp. Ps. 142: 5; " Look, O Lord, on the right hand, I have 
no friend," (fcc), Amicus itaqve a dcxtera nobis sfat, ut nos eo melius 
juvet et protegat (Comp. Ps. 109 : 31 ; " The Lord stands at his right 
hand, |''n''S, to deliver him from those who judge his soul." Ps. 16: 8. 
Ps. 121 : 6) ; " Inirnicus vero ad dexteram esse dicitur, nt id quod 
in nobis jirmum est, turbet ac debilitct.''' That by standing on the 
right hand in this passage, a violent and successful assault is signi- 
fied, appears especially from the two parallel passages : Job. 30 : 
12, " Upon my right hand rise the youth ; they push aw<iy my feet, 
and they raise up against me the wages of their destruction ; " and 
Ps. 100 : 9, " Set an ungodly man over him, and let an adversary 
stand at his right hand." Li both, the S;» designates that which 
oppresses, prevents the action of the right hand, paralyzes all 
the efforts of the assailed. Una's is well explained by Tarnov ; " Ut 
sic nominis sui mensuram ab adversando Satanas dictus iinpleret." 
Riickert : " The enemy stands at his right hand to oppose him." 
The scene is accordingly as follows : the high priest is in the sanc- 
tuary, the building of which has been commenced, employed in 
supplicating the mercy of the angel of the Lord ; who, in order to 
testify his good pleasure, condescends to appear in the temple, 
(comp. V. 7,) attended by a host of angels. Satan, the sworn enemy 
of the church of God, sees with envy the restoration of a state of 
reconciliation between her and the Lord. He endeavours to inter- 
rupt it by his accusations. The supposition of some of the older 
interpreters, (Kimchi, Drusius,) that Sanballat and his associates, 
who endeavoured to hinder the building of the temple, are here 
figuratively represented by Satan, needs no refutation. It is already 
shown to be groundless by a comparison of the prologue to Job, 
which Zechariah, who always imitates those who have gone before 
him, had certainly in view, compare also there chap. 1 : 10, with 
Zech, 6 : 5. This comparison is also important, inasmuch as it 
teaches us, what here belongs to the drapery an* what to the sub- 

* On the contrary, the prolix Dissert, de Josua Summ. Sac. o^Ze'ising, press. 
J. G. IValch, Jena, 1758, is vcorthless, and does not pay for the trouble of a 

28 ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 

ject. In both places, and in the Apoc. 12 : 10, where Satan is 
called o xan'jywQ tup adsXcpmv rjfioijv, o tcaTt^yoQwv cvtojv ivwniov xov 
■d-Eov rj/xoov Tj/xiga? aai vvxto?, the doctrinal import is merely, that 
Satan makes every effort to deprive the individual belie_ver and the 
whole church of the mercy of God. That to this end he appears 
before God in heaven, or in the temple at Jerusalem, as an accuser, 
appertains only to the poetical, or prophetico-symbolical representa- 
tion, whose essence requires that it should present spiritual relations 
in a sensible form to the contemplation. It still remains only to 
inquire, what means Satan employed, in order to build up a parti- 
tion wall between the high priest and the angel of the Lord. What 
the Jewish -interpreters have here invented, after the example of the 
Chaldee paraphrast, and which Jerome also incautiously received 
from them, is in bad taste. According to them, the ground of com- 
plaint was, the marriage of the sons of Joshua with foreign women. 
Nor is there any truth in the supposition of these Jewish interpre- 
ters, and several in recent times, as Eichhorn, Theiner, &.c,, that 
the accusation which Satan brought against the high priest was 
groundless, and that he was entirely innocent. It is contradicted 
by V. 3-5, according to which, the Lord forgives the high priest 
his sins, and, instead of his unclean garments, clothes him with 
those that are clean, the symbol of righteousness imparted through 
grace. The correct view is as follows. The high priest appeared 
here, as has been already shown, in the discharge of his office, and 
represented in some measure the whole people (Cyril : 6 Si ys Ugsvg 
vor}&8irj av airl nuvToq tov luov.) This appears, among other pas- 
sages, from Judges 20 : 27, 28, where the high priest Phinehas says 
to the Lord, " Shall I yet again go out to battle against the chil- 
dren of Benjamin, my brother, or shall I cease? And the Lord said, 
Go up ; for to-morrow I will deliver them into thine hand." 

Just as, according to Lev. 4 : 2, the sins of the high priest were 
imputed to the people, " if the anointed priest sins to the making 
of the people guilty," DJ'H nntyxS, — where Rosenm. had better 
left the interpretation of Le Clerc in its deserved forgetfulness, — 
so, on the other hand, the high priest appears before the Lord laden 
with the sins of the whole people, whose representative he was. 
Abenezra on Lev. 4 : 13, bxiK/' ^2 njJ3 Sipty Snjn pon njni, 
" Ecce pontifex max. cequiparaiur universo Israeli.'^ Compare other 
proofs in Herwerden, De Sacerdote Magn. Hehr. Grbningen, 1822, 
p. 9. This representative character of the high priest is, moreover, 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 29 

here peculiarly evident, since the grounds whereby the Lord, v. 2, 
rebukes the assault of Satan, refer, not to him personally, but to the 
relation of the whole people to the Lord. It is only in this way, 
that the object and import of the whole vision are placed in their 
true light. The people after their return from exile, mindful of the 
grievous sins of their fathers, conscious of their own sinfulness, and 
beholding in what was visible only the first and faint manifestations 
of the divine mercy, began to despair of the same ; they believed 
that God had for ever rejected the high priesthood, which he had 
established as a mediatorial office between him and them. This 
despair of the mercy of God must be attended with equally injurious 
consequences as false security. Among these, remissness in the 
work of rebuilding the temple, which has been unduly magnified by 
many interpreters, was only one, and that comparatively unimpor- 
tant. Experience shows, that all fear of God ceases with despair of 
the forgiveness of sins, as the Psalmist of old expresses the close con- 
nexion between them by the words, " For with thee there is mercy 
and plenteous forgiveness, that thou niayest be feared." The 
prophet now represents the Lord, in a glorious manifestation of 
himself, not indeed, as lulling the people to repose in their sins from 
a false trust in their own righteousness, but as giving them the assur- 
ance, that, notwithstanding the greatness of their sins, he would 
of his free mercy continue as before the office of high priest, and 
accept his mediation until the time should hereafter come, when 
the true high priest, he, of whom Joshua was only a type, should 
appear and accomplish a perfect and perpetual reconciliation. 

V. 2. " And the Lord said to Satan; The Lord rebuke thee, thou 
Satan, the Lord rebuke thee, he ivho chooses Jerusalem. Is not this a 
brand rescued from the Jire 1 " Pelagianism, which is manifested 
also in the more recent interpretations of this section, appears in all 
its extent in Jarchi's paraphrase of the verse ; " Increpet Jehova te, 
ille qui elegit Hierosolymam, ut ne ingrediaris coram ipso justtnn 
hunc accusare ; nonne dignus ille et purus, ideo ereptus est ex igne 
incendii ? " 

It is not on the worthiness of Joshua and the people, but 'on his 
own election alone, on his compassion shown in the restoration of 
the people from exile, and which he could not now deny without 
contradicting himself, that the Lord grounds his rebuke of the accu- 
sation of Satan. Calvin : ** Hie prcedicat deus gratiam suam, qua 
usus fuerat erga sacerdotem, ut statuant Jidelesfore Josuam superio- 

30 ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 

rem suis hostibus, quia deus opus suiim non deseret ; semper enim 
primis ultima respondent, quantum ad gratiam dei ; neque fatigatur 
in ipso cursu bcneficienticB." 

Still better Cyril ; ofxotov yaq wg u liyoi, tvxov TtEnXrjfi/AsXrjysv 
oyoXoyov/ASVCJS 6 'lagaijX, y-ai xaig acilg (piXoipoyiaig iniaxrifiivog oqaxai, 
nlijv ixTSTixE ov f^sTgiag, avixh] rug (}V[iq)OQag, i^sanda&rj fioXtg, 
wg iy. TivQog dalog rjiuliplsxtog ' ovtoj yaq t« f| alxfiaXaaiag uniixovlaaTO 
pXdfir], ctqzi xal ^olig rrjg uvtjxiarov TaXumwQlag diiSqa ti]v cpXoya, 
navaai dr] ovv iyxaXuv Toig rjXsrjfiivoig ' S^iog ydg 6 dixaiaP, rig 6 
xttTaxqtvav ; The verb l^U , to rebuke, when spoken of God, who 
accomplishes all things by his word, receives the secondary idea of 
the actual suppression and defeating; comp. e. g. Ps. 106: 9, Mai. 
3:11. The construction with 3 is explained by the fact, that the 
passion of the rebuker rests on the rebuked. The repetition occurs 
in order to subjoin the second time the reason ; The Lord rebuke 
thee, and, indeed, rebuke thee on this account, &c. Comp. 6 : 13. 
The election stands opposed to the temporary rejection during the 
Babylonish exile, comp. 1 : 17. It had continued even during that 
period, but its manifestation had been prevented. This had recom- 
menced with the return from exile, (comp. Rom. 11:1 sqq.,) and 
no machination of Satan should hinder it any more. The expres- 
sion, " a brand rescued from the fire," is taken from Amos 4 : 11, 
" Ye are as a brand rescued from the fire," as a designation of a 
great calamity, which nevertheless, through the mercy of the Lord, 
has not issued in a total destruction. In the words, " the Lord 
said : The Lord rebuke thee," the Lord and his angel are distin- 
guished from each other, and the latter is made equal with the 
former in respect to the divine dignity and honor. 

V. 3. " And Joshua teas clothed in unclean garments and stood 
before the Lord." According to several interpreters, (Eichhorn, 
Theiner, &c.) the unclean garments signify the condition of the 
accused, who, among the Romans, thus appeared before a tribunal, 
and were called sordidati. But no trace of such a custom is found 
among the Hebrews ; the interpretation rests on the erroneous 
assumption, that standing before the Lord refers to a judicial trial ; 
it is inconsistent with v. 4, where, by the removal of the unclean 
garments, the forgiveness of sins is signified. Hence it appears, 
that the only true interpretation is that, which makes the filthy 
garments, according to the frequent usage of Scripture, (e. g. Is. 
64 : 5 ; " We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteous- 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 31 

nesses as a filthy garment." Is. 4 : 4, Prov. 30 : 12,) signify sins, 
with reference to the ordinance which required the high priest to 
appear before the Lord only in clean garments. The high priest, 
engaged in the service of the Lord, appeared before him, not in the 
purity required by the law, but laden with his own sins and those 
of the people. Satan sought to find therein the surest handle for 
his attack, but he deceived himself The Lord, who had purified 
his people, yet not as silver, (Is. 48: 10,) and who was satisfied, 
though the furnace of affliction had removed only the coarsest dross 
of sin, and had produced in the people the beginning of true repent- 
ance, a hunger and thirst after righteousness, which must not be 
stifled by severity, but nourished by being met with kindness, 
imparted to them of his grace, what they did not possess ; he 
granted to the high priest, and in him to the people, the gift of 

V. 4. " A7id he answered and spake to those tcho stood before 
him, Take atoay from him the unclean garments ; and he said to 
Joshua, Behold I tahe away from thee thy sin, and they shall clothe 
thee with festive garments." As the filthy garments are a symbol 
of sin, so the putting on clean and splendid garments at the com- 
mand of the Lord, signifies the imparting of forgiveness and justifi- 
cation. The interpretation of Mark is to be rejected, who under- 
stands by the symbolic action, and the explanation of it in the 
address to Joshua, not justification, but sanctification. It is only 
of the former that we meet with the phrase, " to cause sin to pass 
away," comp. e. g. 2 Sam. 12 : 13. In favor of forgiveness of sin 
also, is V. 10, (" I blot out the sin of the land in one day,") where 
the typical justification to be imparted to the high priest, and through 
him to the people, is contrasted with the full and perfect justification 
to be imparted through the Messiah. A similar symbolic represen- 
tation of the forgiveness of sins is found in Is. 6 : 6. The prophet, 
on beholding the divine holiness, regards himself as undone, because 
he is unclean, and dwells among a people of unclean lips. " And 
then flew to me one of the Seraphim, and in his hand was a red- 
hot stone (fire, a symbol of purification), — and he caused it to 
touch my mouth, and said ; Behold this touches thy lips, and thine 
iniquity is done away, and thy sin is forgiven." The verb njp fre- 
quently stands where a silent address, question, or entreaty had 
gone before, and is then erroneously taken by those interpreters, 
who overlook this, in the sense, " to begin the discourse " ; comp. e. g. 

32 ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 

Gesenius, on Isaiah 14 : 10, where it ought to have been observed, 
that upon the entrance of the king of Babylon into Hades, an 
address to the shades there assembled was as much implied, as in 
the silent obeisance, with which any one enters into a company.* 
The meaning, " to begin the discourse," is the more unsuitable 
here, since a silent address and supplication of Joshua is already 
intimated by the immediately preceding, " he stood before the 
Lord." As often as the high priest appeared before the Lord sup- 
plication for the forgiveness of sins was implied. Those, who stand 
before the Lord, or before his angel, are his higher servants, the 
angels; comp. Is. chap. 6. These, in like manner, as in the pas- 
sage referred to, shall adorn his inferior servants with the sign of 
forgiveness, which he only can grant. The infin. tV^Sn does not 
stand precisely for the verbum Jinitum; nor is the latter to be 
regarded by any means as left out. The infin. designates the pure 
action, without the person, number, or mode ; comp. Ewald, p. 558. 
But here every thing depended on the action ; the determination 
of the actors belonged to the foregoing address to them. This was 
the more properly omitted in the address to Joshua, since it did not 
appertain to the substance, but to the drapery ; as his attention ought 
to be directed solely to the author of the forgiveness, not to the 
instruments which he employed as its symbol. 

V. 5. "And I said; Let them place on him, moreover, a clean tur- 
ban ; and they placed on him a clean turban, and put on him garments, 
and the angel of the Lord was still present.^' — The prophet, hitherto 
only a silent spectator and narrator, emboldened by love towards 
his people, here suddenly comes forward as one of the actors. Cal- 
vin : " Consilium jjrophetcB, sacerdotem ita fuisse ornatum splendidis 
vestibus, rit tamen nondum omni ex pai-te constaret dignitas ; idea 
cupit prophet a adjungi etiam mundam cidarin, vel tiaram." 

Several interpreters suppose, that, by the bestowing of clean gar- 
ments upon the high priest, the forgiveness of his sin, so far as he 
was a representative of the people, was signified ; by the putting on 
of the clean head-dress, on the contrary, the confirmation of his 

* The true interpretation was seen by Vitringa, on Zechariah 1 : 11 ; " Ad 
animum vocari velim, in omni casu, in quo vox nj;^ vel atroK^ivetr^m usurpatur 
in e.xordio orationis vel narrationis absque antecedenfe interrogatione, semper 
interrogationem tacitam supponi, perinde ac in libr. sacr., ubi incipiunt a 
copula et, licet nihil aliud prfficesserit, semper supponitur aliquid antecedens, 
cum quo historia vel oratio tacita cogitatione connectitur." 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 33 

office. But this supposition is dearly erroneous, since the clean 
turban must symbolize the same as the clean garments. Moreover, 
it could not then be explained why the putting on of the turban 
precedes that of the garments, an argument which cannot be set 
aside by the ungrarnmatical exj)!anation of Kimchi and others; 
" they placed on him the head-band after they had put on him his 
garments," in which the fut. with vav eonvers. is changed into pre- 
cisely its opposite, a pluperfect. The true interpretation is rather 
as follows. The prophet designs to express the thought, that the 
Lord imparts to the h yh priest, and through him to the people, entire 
purity before him. This tliought he thus symbolizes. The Lord 
gives merely the command to put clean garments upon Joshua. 
But, before this was accomplished, the prophet prays that the unclean 
part of the clothing of the high priest, of which nothing had been said 
in the command, might also be removed. His prayer is heard, and 
Joshua is now clothed anew from head to foot (hence the putting on 
of the turban precedes). The expression, " and the angel of the 
Lord stood," is well explained by Michaelis ; " f^ituin tanquam lierus 
imperans, prohans et prmsentia sua ornans." That the angel of the 
Lord remains present during the whole action, and does not, sat- 
isfied perhaps with the command, commit the execution solely to 
his servants, is a proof of his high esteem and his tender concern 
for his peop e. 

V. 7. " And the angel of the Lord testified to Joshua and said. 

V. 8. " Thus saith the Lord ; If thou ivitt loalk in my ways, and 
keep my covvnandments, thou shalt judge my house and guard my 
courts, and I will give thee guides among these my servants." The 
cleansing of the high priest from sin, and of the people through 
him, is here followed by his confirmation in his office, including also 
a promise for the people, since the high priest was the mediator 
between God and them, and since the people could not be rejected, 
so long as the high priest in his official character remained accept- 
able to God. The opposite of what is here promised had taken 
place in the times of the Babylonish exile; comp. Is. 43: 27, 28: 
"Thy first father, (the high priest, as is evident from the parallelism, 
and from v. 28,) has s ;ine<l, and thy mediators have transgressed ; 
therefore I profane the jrrinces of the sanctuary and give Jacob to 
the curse." The judging or ruling of the house of God, signifies 
supremam curam rerum sacrarum. The guarding of the courts of 
the Lord, implies the obligation resting upon the high priest care- 

VOL. II. 5 

34 ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 

fully to keep away every thing idolatrous and ungodly, first from the 
outward temple, comp. 2 Chron. 19: 11, 23: 18, Jer. 29: 20, then 
from the church of God, of which the temple was the central point. 
Here this appears, not as a duty, but as a reward, inasmuch as 
activity in promoting the kingdom of God is the highest honor and 
mercy which God can grant to a sinful mortal. In the words, " I 
give thee guides among those wlio stand there," the Lord promises 
to his inferior the aid of his higher servants. One can scarcely con- 
ceive, how this simple sentence should have been so frequently 
misunderstood. DoSriD is a Chaldee form of a participle in Hiph. 
instead of the usual D'D'SiD, Hiph. in the sense to guide, e. g. Is. 
42 : 16, " I lead the blind by a way which they know not." The 
explanation of Michaelis (Suppl. 557, 558,) " Dabo tibi ministerhim 
intei' cos, qui hie slant, aiigdos milii luinistr antes," in which CD^riD 
is taken as plural of the noun "jSriD, is liable to the objection, that 
the noun never occurs in the sense munus here attributed to it; and, 
besides, the reception of an earthly servant of God into the heavenly 
choir is an idea foreign to the whole Old Testament. We may 
be permitted to pass over other interpretations still more untenable. 

V. 8. " Yet hear, O Joshua, high priest, thou and thy compan- 
ions, who sit before thee ; for ye are types ; for behold! I bring 
my servant Branch." The connexion with the foregoing is thus 
aptly given by Kimchi ; " Dicit, quamvis adducam nunc vobis hanc 
salutcm, adhuc adducam vobis saluietn majorem, quatn hanc, tempore, 
quo adducam servum meum Zemach." We here, in the first place, 
institute an inquiry respecting the word n£)1D, It is commonly sup- 
posed, that the original meaning of this word is demonstratin, osten- 
sio; we, on the contrary, affirm it to be that of astonishntnt and 
wonder, and, indeed, for the following reasons. 1. It is favored by the 

Arabic ^*i[ , ri^.N, first, every thing that excites wonder, , "^ C, 

then specially a calamity, which by its greatness awakens wonder 
and astonishment, (comp. Is. 52: 14,) jj^aAIo (Schultens on Job, 
p. 423) ; neither of these senses can be derived, if dcmonstratio is 
assumed as the ground meaning. The assertion of Gesenius (Thes. 
s, v. n2X) that (3 in ^jf is not radical, is erroneous. He grounds 

it on the combination of the ^_jf with g_i] calamitas, pernicies 
noxa, from the root ,ji,jf. But the two words have nothing what- 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 35 

ever in common. The word ^^f of itself, no more signifies 
calamity, than n3ir3. Ps. 71 : 7. If this had been assumed as the 
original meaning, how could that of tconder flow from it ? 2. Even 
the Hebrew usage requires the original meaning of astonishment 
and wonder. Since it is only from this, that all the senses of the 
word can be derived, particularly those in Ps. 71 : 7. The frequent 
combination of n3in with m'N, far from proving, that both words 
are entirely synonymous rather proves the contrary; it shows, that 
both must be designations of the same thing from different points of 
view, and here, as is also shown by the comparison of other lan- 
guages {jsQug and aij/j-Hov, prodigium and signum) scarcely any other 
reference is possible, than the double one, partly to the subjective 
perception, partly to the objective import of a thing. While the 
one narrator rendered prominent this, the other that relation, it 
could happen, that the miracle performed in favor of Hezekiah 
might be called in the book of Kings nix, in Chronicles nsiD ; from 
which it has been erroneously concluded, that both words must be 
entirely synonymous. But nsiD is used especially of a thmg or a 
person, which attracts to itself surprise and attention, because it 
typifies and predicts one that is future. This special meaning is 
found in four passages besides this. Is. 8 : 18, calls his sons, on 
account of the names prophetic of salvation, which the Lord had 
given to them, and thereby appointed them as types of the coming 
deliverance, signs and wonders (mnix and D"'n3lo) in Israel. Ac- 
cording to Is. 20 : 3, the prophet, as a type of the Egyptian people, 
goes naked three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt. Ez. 
12 : 6, the Lord says to the prophet, after he has commissioned him 
to typify by his actions the future destinies of Israel, " For I have 
set thee as a wonder for the house of Israel ; " comp. v. 11, " Say, 
I am your wonder, as I have done, so shall ye do ; ye shall go into 
captivity." Ez. 24, the prophet's wife dies ; in obedience to the 
command of the Lord, he durst not utter lamentations over her ; 
the attention of the people is thereby excited to the highest pitch, 
they suspect that there is a deeper reason for the conduct of the 
prophet. They receive from the Lord the answer, " Ezekiel shall 
be to you for a wonder ; as all that he has done, ye shall do," (v. 
24, comp. V. 27.) In all these passages nam corresponds to ti'tto? 
luv fxtllovxmv, with this difference only, that the latter exhibits 
merely the objective meaning of the thing, without regard to the 

36 ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 

subjective sensation produced by it. Tliis was seen by Cocceius : 
" Viri portenti sunt illi, in quihus minim aUquid,vcl insolitumjit, 
quo ezcitentur homines ad cogitandum de protuissionibus meis." 

We now proceed to the illustration of particulars. By the com- 
panions of Joshua, who, with him, are summoned to attend, are to 
be understood his colleagues, the priests of an inferior rank. This 
appears, 1. from the object of the whole prophecy. Joshua is spoken 
of throughout, not as a private person, but as a high priest. He 
appears as occupied with the functions of his office ; he is addressed 
even in this verse emphatically as a high priest. When, therefore, 
his companions are here spoken of, they cannot be such as were 
connected with him in any other relation, but only his colleagues 
in the priestly office. 2. The addition, "who sit before thee," 
leads to the same conclusion. This designates, not, as Michaelis 
erroneously supposes, the relation of the teacher to his pupils, but 
rather that of a president in a college to his associates, and, gener- 
ally, that of a person of higher rank to his inferiors; comp. Ezek. 
8: 1. Num. 3 : 4, 1 Sam. 3: 1. The verb T\i;' is the terminus 
technicus, for designating the sessions of public officers, comp. e. g. 
Exod. 18 : 13. Such sessions of the priests, when the high priest 
presided, were not unfrequent, comp. Lightfoot, on Mat. 26 : 3. 
Lond. p. 517. The expression taken from these sessions was then 
in a general way transferred to the relation of the high priest to the 
priests as his subordinates. As here the priests are designated as 
companions of the high priest, so are they, Ez. 3 : 2, as his breth- 
ren ; " then stood up Joshua and his brethren the priests, and 
Zerubbabel and his brethren." ^2, which has been variously misun- 
derstood, gives the reason why Joshua and his companions are sum- 
moned to attend. They must hear the promise of the Messiah with 
peculiar attention, because as his types they stand to him in a more 
intimate relation, because their order will be glorified through him, 
since he perfectly realizes the idea of it. Much difficulty has been 
occasioned to the interpreters by nnn, inasmuch as it appears to 
refer exclusively to the companions of Joshua, while he himself, as 
the head, most completely typified the Messiah. This difficulty is 
removed by the remark, that the prophet makes a sudden transition 
from the second person to the third, as if he had said, " Joshua and 
his companions should hear ; for they are," &-c. This is evident 
from v. 9, where the discourse is concerning Joshua in the third 
person. Examples of a similar transition are very frequent, comp. 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 37 

e. g. Zeph. 2: 12, " also ye Cushites, slain of my sword are thei/ " 
(an). Ezek. 28 : 22, " Behold, I come upon thee, Sidon, and 
glorify myself in thee, and they shall experience, that I am the 
Lord, when I in her," &lc. Jer. 7 : 4. The second "3 shows the 
reason, wherefore Joshua and his colleagues are r\3lD ''V/}i{. This 
lies in the appearing of the antitype. For if this is not real, then the 
type also ceases. This antitype, the Messiah, is designated by a 
twofold appellation. First, my servant, as Is. 42 : 1, 49 : 3, 5, 50 ; 
10, 52: 13, 53: 11, Ezek. 34: 23, 24. Then HDV, sprout. This 
latter name designates the early obscurity of the Messiah ; he will 
not resemble a proud tree, but a sprout, which gradually grows up 
and becomes a tree. This appears from the comparison of the par- 
allel passages already collected, p. 5, &c. Among these, Zecha- 
riah, to judge according to his relation to these prophets elsewhere, 
in all probability had before his eyes especially those of Jeremiah 
(23: 5, 33: 15.) and Ezekiel. It is unnecessary to suppose, with 
several interpreters, that sprout here stands for sprout of David. 
The expression rather designates, in general, the early obscurity of 
the Messiah, not as Is. 11 : 1, especially his origin from the fallen 
family of David, which is indeed a necessary consequence of the 
former. The assertion of Q,uenstedt is erroneous; " gerinen est 
nomen orighiis etjiliationis, — semper rcspectumhahet ad id, cvjus est 
gertnen." In Is. 53 : 2, also, without respect to his descent, in order 
to designate his original obscurity, the Messiah is called a tender 
shoot, pJV in opposition to a stately tree. Calvin : " comparat Chris- 
tum surculo, quia de nihilo, ut ita dicam oriri visits est, propte- 
rea quod principium ejus conteinptibile fuit. Quid enim obt'inuit 
ezcelleniiis Christus in mundo, quum natus est, quomudo auspicatus 
est regnum suum? et quomodo initiatus est suo sacerdotio 1 " The 
Seventy render HDi' by avuToXi], which, however, they have not 
employed, as several interpreters erroneously suppose, in the sense 
of " a rising light," but, as Jerome, on chap. 6 : 12, rightly per- 
ceived, in that of a sprout. In this sense they employ uvcno^ 
(tov uygov,) Ez. 16 : 7, 17 : 10 ; the verb nov is alternately rendered 
by them uvuziXlsiv, i^araTsXlsiv, cpvsiv, aya<pvatvi and ^XaaxdvHv, Jer. 
33 : 15. They translate nn:f by ^Xaazog, as does Symm. also, 23 : 
5, by ^kdaTTjfia, (comp. Mark excrcitt. misc., p. 160 sq.) That by 
" the servant of the Lord, Branch," the Messiah was intended, was 
the prevailing opinion of the older Jews. The Chaldee paraphrases 
"'Sann i<n"'kyn naj' n^ 'n'n njx nh, " behold I bring my servant the 

38 ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 

Messiah, who will be revealed." In Echa Rabbati, Branch is cited 
among the names of the Messiah. In the Christian church also, 
this view was always predominant. Some of the fathers, nevertheless, 
(Theodoret on the passage, and probably, so far as can be ascer- 
tained from his obscure expressions, Eusebius, demonstr. 1. 4, c. 70,) 
found here Zerubbabel led astray by a misapprehension of the words, 
" he will build my temple," in the parallel passage, chap. 6 : 13. For 
another reason, an earnest desire to set aside, as much as possible, ref- 
erences to the Messiah, this interpretation has found favor with some 
later Jewish critics, and with Grotius. Its refutation need not 
detain us long. A still stronger objection than that which is com- 
monly and justly urged against it, — that nnif is a constant desig- 
nation of the Messiah, and as such, occurs particularly in Jeremiah, 
the exemplar of Zechariah ; that here a future person is promised, 
while Zerubbabel had already long been active in the new colony, 
— is, that by it the whole object of the prophecy is defeated. Why 
does Zerubbabel appear in a prophecy which is occupied through- 
out with the priesthood ? How can his appearing be announced 
especially to them, as peculiarly honorable and joyful for them, how 
can it be contrasted as a higher blessing with the inferior one, the 
divine confirmation of their office granted to them before? In what 
relation were the priests types of Zerubbabel ? In what sense could 
the removal of the sins of the land in one day, (comp. v. 9,) be 
attributed to him ? It now only remains to answer the question, in 
what sense the priests are here called types of the Messiah. It is 
impossible it should be any thing else than what constitutes the 
characteristic of their office. For that regard was had to the office, 
but not the person of Joshua, is evident from the circumstance that 
his colleagues were associated with him. The characteristic of the 
priestly office consisted, however, in the mediation between God 
and the people, and this in accordance with the circumstances of 
the latter, was exercised chiefly in procuring forgiveness of sins by 
sacrifice and intercession. The Messiah, therefore, can be repre- 
sented as the antitype of the priesthood only so far as he should 
perfectly accomplish the mediation and deliverance from sin, which 
was but imperfectly accomplished by it. This is further confirmed 
by the following arguments. 1. We have already seen, that the 
people, troubled concerning the forgiveness of their sins, are con- 
soled in what precedes by the assurance, that, notwithstanding their 
transgressions, the Lord would not reject the priesthood. When, 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 39 

therefore, hitherto the priesthood has been solely considered only 
in reference to the deliverance of the people from sin, and when 
Joi^hua has appeared as occupied in procuring it, how can it be 
thought otherwise, than that the antitypical high priest here promis- 
ed is contrasted with the typical, only in reference to the perfect 
deliverance from sin to be effected through him? 2. The Lord prom- 
ises, V. 9, expressly, that he will remove the sins of the whole land 
through his servant. 3. Forgiveness of sin is a constant characteris- 
tic mark of the Messianic time, (comp. Vol 1, p. 199.) Zechatiah, 
chap. 13 : 1, exhibits, as the chief blessing to be imparted to those 
who should look upon him who was pierced, that a fountain should 
be opened for them for all impurities and sins. But this passage 
derives the clearest light from Is. 53, where the Messiah is repre- 
sented, at the same time, as the true sacrifice, and as the true high 
priest. As the latter, he sprinkles many nations (52 : 15) ; he 
presents a sin offering (53 : 10) ; he makes intercession for sinners, 
(v. 12.) The only difference between the two passages is, that 
here the method is, not as it is there, pointed out, whereby the true 
high priest shall effect the removal of sin. Finally, the Messiah 
appears as a high priest also in Ps. 110. 

V. 9. " I^or behold, the stone, which I have laid before Joshua, 
upon this one stone shall seven eyes be directed ; behold, I loill hew 
it out saith the Lord of Hosts and remove the sin of the land in 
one day." ^2 shows, that this verse must be the reason of the 
proposition immediately before; '* for I bring my servant. Branch," 
in like manner as the first ';! , in v. S, and the second, must be 
respectively that of " hear," and " they are types." Appearances 
were altogether against the manifestation of the Messiah ; the mis- 
erable condition of the new colony seemed to cut off all prospect of 
the. fulfilment of such splendid promises, comp. 4 : 10. The Lord, 
therefore, the Almighty (Jehovah of Hosts), by pointing to his lively 
concern for the best good of the Theocracy, as the ground of these 
blessings, withdraws the attention from the outward appearance. 
That the seven eyes must not be regarded as belonging to the stone, 
but as directed to it, scarcely needs a proof, as is generally con- 
fessed by modern interpreters. It is sufficient even to refer to chap. 
4:10, where the seven eyes of the Lord are designated as those, 
which look on the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel, and are cited 
as having been already mentioned in what had preceded. The eye 
of God is not seldom employed to designate the Divine Providence. 

40 ZECHARIAH Chap. 3. 

It is, however, peculiar to Zechariah, that he designates the most 
special concern of God for tlie stone by the resting of his seven eyes 
upon it. It appears, that he had here in view the symbolic repre 
sentations of the Babylonians or Persians. That similar figurative 
desiiinations were employed, particularly by the Persians, appears 
from the fact, that certain confidential servants of the king were 
called 6(p9idfiol ftaoiliwg ; comp. Suidas and Hesychius s. v., Brisson. 
de reg. Pers. princ. p. 2C4 sq. ; a designation probably borrowed 
from their theology, as the whole Persian kingdom was supposed to 
be a visible representation of the heavenly kingdom of Ormuz, of 
whom the king was the representative, (comp. Beitrage 1, p. 
125 seq.) It is further to be inquired, what is meant by the stone, 
to which the seven eyes are directed. It is almost unanimously 
supposed by the older interpreters to be the Messiah. But this is 
contradicted by " which 1 have laid before Joshua," whereby the 
stone appears as something already present only to be ornamented 
hereafter, as also by, " I will grave it." Others suppose it to be the 
foundation stone of the temple ; but we do not perceive how this 
was to be graved. The correct view is rather, that the unhewn 
stone, to be polished and graven by the Lord, is an image of the 
Theocracy, and its seat, the temple, signifying its present low condi- 
tion, and its future glorification by the Lord. The stone is then 
with entire propriety described as lying before Joshua, since, as had 
been said, v. 7, the chief oversight of the Theocracy, at that time, 
devolved upon him. The polishing and graving of the rough, pre- 
cious stone, (comp. Exod. 28: 9, 11, 21, 36, 39, 30,) consists 
preeminently in the sending of the Messiah, though without exclud- 
ing the earlier mercies of God. According to the cotemporary 
prophecy of Haggai, chap. 2 : 7-10, the second temple was to be 
filled with glory, and made more illustrious than the first, through 
him. p'nmD nng, to open openings, to grave. The verb ty^D, else- 
where intrans., here transitive. This Ian ', Judea, which, 
although the deliverance from sin to be effected by the Messiah 
should extend further, even over the whole heathen world, is here 
alone mentioned, because in this whole prediction the prophet aims 
only to comfort the troubled minds of his people. The expression, 
" in one day," where day stands for the shortest portion of time, 
implies, that the ren)oval of sin, to be eflFected by the Messiah, would 
not be continually repeated, like that accomplished by the typical 
priesthood, but completed in a single action. 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 4. 41 

V. 10. " At that time ye shall call one to another, to the vine and 
to the fig tree ! " So translates correctly De Dieu, Crit. Sacr. More 
feebly others ; " Ye shall invite one another under." The words 
contain an image of the rest, peace, and prosperity, (" summa et Ice- 
tissima tranquillitas in ama^na omnium copia," De Dieu,) which 
would be a consequence of the forgiveness of sins procured by the 

5. The Candlestick ivith the Two Olive Trees. 
Chap. 4. 

Between this and the preceding vision a pause is to be supposed. 
The angelus interpres had withdrawn for a time from the -prophet, 
and the latter, his ecstasy having ceased, had recovered his ordi- 
nary condition of mind. Jerome : " Quoiiescunque humana fra- 
gilitas sua: relinquitur imhecillitati, deus a nobis et angelorum ejus 
auxilium abire credendttm est." " And the angel who conversed 
with me," — it is said, v. 1, — " returned and awoke me, as a man 
who is awakened from sleep." We have here the deepest desig- 
nation of the condition of the prophets while prophesying (comp. 
Vol. I. p. 217), in comparison with their ordinary state. They 
stand related to each other as sleep to being awake. The ordi- 
nary condition, in which, given up to sensible impressions, we are 
unable to raise the spiritual eye to the contemplation of what is 
divine, is that of spiritual sleep ; the ecstasy on the contrary, when 
the senses are at rest, and the whole of our conscious agency ceases, 
and the images of divine things are represented in the soul as in a 
pure and smooth mirror, is a state of spiritual watchfulness. This 
sense, which is the only true one, Cyril alone among all the inter- 
preters has perceived, who remarks : " Our condition, in compari- 
son with that of the angels, is to be regarded as a state of sleep." 
The rest, as Theodoret, Jerome, Vitringa, have been led astray by 
their erroneous preconceived opinions respecting the condition of 
the prophets while prophesying. (Comp. Vol. I. p. 217.) They sup- 
pose the prophet was so absorbed in the contemplation of the vision, 
chap. 3, as to need the admonition of the angelus interpres to attend 
to the new scene which presented itself. But this supposition is 
untenable, since it leaves out of view, " and the angel returned,"^ 
and indeed makes his going away to be without meaning. 

VOL. II. (3 

48 ZECHARIAH Chap. 4. 

The new vision, which now presents itself to the prophet is as 
follows ; he sees a candlestick of pure gold, and on it an oil vessel, 
out of which the oil flows down into each of the seven lamps of the 
candlestick through seven tubes. On both sides of the candlestick, 
and rising above, stand two olive trees. The angeliis interprcs gives 
the meaning of this emblem, after he has reminded the prophet of 
his human weakness, and called his attention to the deep import of 
the vision by the inquiry : " Knowest thou not what this imports ? " 
V. 6, 7, also in the expression, " This vision (so far as it was pro- 
phetical) is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel ; not by might and 
not by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts. Who art 
thou, thou great mountain before Zerubbabel ? Become a plain 1 He 
brings forth the top stone (so is nU'X-in pNH to be translated, not, 
with most interpreters, the foundation stone, as this had already 
been laid many years before, comp. also v. 9, " his hands have 
founded this house, and his hands will also complete it,") * with the 
shouting (of the angels), ' Grace, grace unto it ! ' " Accordingly 
this is the import of the vision ; the affairs of the Theocracy will not 
be promoted by human power, but by the Spirit of God alone, who 
animates, protects, sustains it. The immediate object for the ac- 
complishment of which this general truth, at all times valid for the 
church of God, was here symbolized, was, to impart consolation to 
the desponding people and their head, and, thereby, energy for a 
zealous prosecution of the erection of the temple. For of what 
consequence was it, if whole mountains of difficulties opposed this 
work, since it did not depend on hun)an power, which indeed was 
not at hand, but the Lord had taken it wholly upon himself? In 
this interpretation what is general and what is special appear in 
their true relation to each other, which has been misunderstood by 
most interpreters. Let us now see how the symbol and its signifi- 
cation are related to each other. The candlestick is an image of 
the Theocracy ; the iertium compa?-ationis the light, which both pos- 
sess and radiate into the surrounding darkness, comp. Apoc 1 : 20 ; 
" The seven candlesticks are seven churches ; " Luke 12 : 5, the 
parable of the wise and foolish virgins, &c. That the candlestick 

* Unless one chooses, which appears to the author to be better, " he has 
brought forth the ground stone." But if, according to the current interpreta- 
tion, the prseter is taken as the prcBt. propheticum, the explanation given in the 
text is indispensable. 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 4. 43 

is entirely of the most precious metal, of gold, signifies the excel- 
lency of the church of God. The two olive trees symbolize the 
Spirit of God ; the oil, which flows from them into the lamps and 
illuminates them, and causes them to give light, his influences on 
the church of God. The abundance of tubes, seven for each of the 
seven lamps, intimates the manifold ways in which the mercy of 
God flows to his church, as well as its exuberance. 

It is commonly supposed that the prophet in the representation of 
the symbol has omitted through negligence, and afterwards intro- 
duces, V. 11 sqq., one circumstance, viz. that in the two olive trees 
were two boughs full of olives, which, lying in two presses, (so is 
m'"))"^JX in V. 12, to be explairted, as is evident, among other reasons, 
from T5, which cannot possibly be explained as it has been by 
many interpreters, by " near by,") conducted the oil to the candle- 
stick. But this omission was rather from design. The mention of 
this special circumstance would have weakened the impression of 
the symbol as a whole, and have prevented the insight into its chief 
meaning. The prophet, therefore, does not direct the attention to 
this special circumstance, until he has learned and explained the 
import of the symbol as a whole. He asks, in the first place, v. 11, 
" What are these iico olive trees ? " This question cannot relate gen- 
erally to the import of the olive trees, for the prophet has already been 
informed that they symbolize the Spirit of God. It rather concerns 
only the duality of the olive trees. But before the prophet receives 
the answer of the angel, he perceives that the duality of the olive 
trees is aot of itself significant, that it has rather been chosen merely 
on account of the significancy of the duality of the boughs. He 
asks, therefore, without waiting for the answer, v. 12, correcting 
himself, anew, " What the two ears (Kimchi : Comparat ramos olea- 
rum cum spicis, quod sicut hcB granis, sic iUi olivis pleni essent) of 
the olive trees, which are in the two golden presses, import ? " And 
that he receives from the angclus interpres an answer only to this 
question, and not to the former, implies that the duality of the olive 
trees is not of itself significant. He receives for answer, " They 
are the two children of oil, which stand before the Lord of the whole 
earth." lOi^ with 'li', properly " to stand over any one," here signi- 
fies rendering service ; near the Lord, who sits, stand the servants, 
corap. Is. 6: 1, 2, " The Lord sat on a high throne. — Seraphim 
stood over him," at his side, so that they appeared above him as he 
sat. The question now arises, who are the two children of oil, the 

4|4 ZECHARIAH 5: 1-4. 

servants of the Lord, ««t t^ox^v. Several interpreters suppose them 
to be Zerubbabel and Joshua. But that these, considered as indi- 
viduals, could not be meant, is evident, because the supplying of 
the candlestick with oil, the imparting of the divine mercy in the 
Theocracy, cannot be connected with the existence of two frail and 
dying men. Others, therefore, have rightly supposed, that by the 
two children of oil, the two whole orders were designated, which 
in the Theocracy eminently served as instruments of the divine 
mercy, the sacerdotal and the regal, or, generally, that of the civil 
magistrates. These alone could be called children of oil, in order 
to designate the official favor bestowed upon them by God, which 
was symbolically represented by anointing. Comp. in reference to 
the high priest, the important parallel passage, Levit. 21 : 12. That 
this was no longer practised in the case of the civil magistrates after 
the exile, is nothing to the purpose ; they were anointed in their pre- 
decessors, and the grace suited to their office, the thing expressed by 
the symbol, was continued to them. To assure to them and the 
high priests this favor, and through this assurance to console and 
gladden the people, who believed themselves forsaken of God, is 
precisely the object of the present symbolic representation. The 
spiritual and the civil government shall continue, as in the former 
Theocracy, to be the medium through which the Lord imparts his 
gracious gifts to his church. This promise in the highest and full- 
est sense was accomplished in the manifestation of Christ, who, 
according to chap. G, should combine both offices, that of a King 
and High Priest in his person, whom the prophet represents, chap. 3, 
especially as a High Priest, chap. 9, as a King, and through whom 
the oil of the divine favor, immeasurably richer than that imparted 
through all former servants of God, is poured into the candlestick of 
the church. 

6. The Flying Roll. 

Chap. 5: v. 1 -4. 

This vision, as well as the following, is of a mournful character. 
They show, like chap. 11, that it was by no means the object of 
the prophet to promote at all events the building of the temple, but 
that it was rather his principal purpose to bring the people to 
repentance and faith, which would necessarily be followed by zeal 

:ZECHARIAH 5: 1-4. 45 

for the outward work, which had been commenced. Excited by 
Ez. 2 : 10, the prophet here sees a flying roll, twenty yards long and 
ten broad. Its dimensions coincide entirely with those of the porch 
of the temple, 1 Kings 6 : 3. This cannot possibly he accidental, 
as several interpreters have supposed. The porch, the outermost 
part of the temple proper, was the place from which God was re- 
garded as dealing with his people, in like manner as Solomon, 
1 Kings 7 : 6, judged the people in the porch of his palace. Before 
the porch, therefore, in the court of tlie prv^sts, stood the altar of 
burnt-offering. In a great public calamity the supplicating priests 
drew still nearer into the porch, to embrace as it were the feet of 
an offended father ; comp. Joel 2 : 17, " Let the pi-iests, the mim's- 
ters of the Lord, weep betiveen the porch and the altar of the Lord, 
and soy, Sparc thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to 
reproach.''' When, therefore, the prophet gives to the flying roll, 
the symbol of the divine judgri ent upon the covenant peof-le, the 
dimensions of the porch, he intimates, that this judgment is a con-f 
sequence of the Theocracy. A similar symbolic representation 
occurs, when, chap. 6: 1, the chariots, the symbols of the divine 
judgments upon the nations hostile to the Theocracy, go forth from 
between the two mountains, the symbol of the Theocracy. The roll 
is inscribed on both sides nini n.JO, exactly as the tables of the law, 
Exod. 32 : 15, whence the expression is borrowed, and also as the 
roll, Ez. 2 : 9, 10. On the one side, are the curses against those 
who abuse the name of the Lord by perjury; on the other, those 
against thieves (TO^ in the sense exterminare in Niph. Is. 3 : 26, in 
Pi. Jer. 30 : 11, where the meaning puram declaravit is commonly 
assumed contrary to the parallelism.) The one stands as an indi- 
vidual example of those who violate the commands of the first 
table ; the other, of those who violate the commands of the second ; 
so that the one side of the roll contains the divine threatening 
against the transgressors of the command, " Thou shalt love the 
Lord thy God with all thy heart ; " the other against the trans- 
gressors of the command, " Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy- 
self." This was seen by Theodoret : Jl/?} yuQ tig oUa&a xaza xi.e- 
mwv novcov xal imogxcin; TavTTjV yiyivtju&ui ti)v uneiX-^v ' xaia ndatjg 
yuQ naqavo^iug ttjv iprj(pov i'^r]i'£yy.ev • insidt] yuq oloq 6 vofioq acu ol 
■jiQO(f>r^Tai iv joinca tm Ao'/w xgi^avtm, iv tw ayan^ang 'avqiov top 
■&i6v aov i^ oXrjg ri^g xagdiug aov x«t ayan-^asig xov nXrjalov aov oig 
aiavTov, dice rijg tTiiogylag ical t^? xionijg nav tl8og a/uaQilag avvij- 

46 ZECHARIAH 5: 5-11. 

yavBV ' ■^ fiiv yug tmv ogxav nagce^aatg aasfisiag ffftf to xEcpaXaiov, 
uynfn]q Se &i:iag tQ7]fxog 6 jotoviog, i] 8s xXoni] t-1]v fig jov nilag 
adLKicxv 8i]).oi, ovdslg 8e ayanav xov nkrj(jiov aSiy.slv tovtov uvi^trai * 
ntQitTiTixtt jolvvv tan iwv ulXmv vofiav ravra ta xscpdXaia, xal Hxoiag 
Toig naQa^ixTaig jtjv zifiMQiav i-Aslfr,v ^jTislh^as. — This curse was to 
go forth over the whole land ; it was not merely to strike the trans- 
gressors slightly and superficially, but entirely consume them, with 
all that belonged to them. In the expression ; " It consumes their 
house, and its wood and its stone," is an allusion to 1 Kings 18 : 
38. We have here, therefore, a prediction of a more severe judg- 
ment of God to be inflicted upon Judea after the ungodliness, 
already at the time of the prophet present in the germ, should 
have taken root and put forth boughs. How this ungodliness will 
lead the people to reject the Messiah, and thus deprive themselves 
of the last means of their deliverance, is further unfolded in chap. 11, 

7. The Epha and the Woman sitting therein. 

Verses 5-11. 

The angelus interpres, who had withdrawn for a while into the 
choir of the heavenly angels, returns to the prophet in order to, 
explain to him the import of a new vision. The prophet sees a 
form as if rising from a mist, but is not able to recognise it. The 
angel instructs him ; " This is the Epha which goes forth," not 
indeed, which is ungrammatical, " This, which goes forth, is an 
Epha." It is by no means necessary to suppose, with Jonathan, {Hi 
sunt populus, qni accipiebant ac dnhant mensura falsa,) that the 
prophet alludes to false measures. Of this there is no trace in the 
text. The sense is rather : As the Israelites have filled up the meas- 
ure of their sins, so also shall the full measure of the divine punish- 
ment overtake them. As a symbol of this thought, the Epha, one 
of the largest measures, was peculiarly suitable. That we are not, 
with several interpreters, to stop short at the sins, is shown by, " This 
is the measure which goes forth" which includes the idea of the 
divine judgment, as the comparison of v. 2, 3, shows. The exclu- 
sive reference to the punishment, attempted by others, appears how- 
ever to be refuted by the interpretation of the angel, " This is their 
eye in all the land," i. e. it is the effort of the whole people to fill up 
the measure of their sins, and thereby bring upon themselves a full 

ZECHARIAH 5: 5-11. 47 

measure of the divine punishment. And, though one could indeed 
give prominency only to the latter, they are intent upon nothing but 
to draw down the divine punislinient with violence upon themselves, 
still a concurrent reference to the sins is manifest from what had 
gone before, where the Jewish people, personified as a woman, 
already sit in the Epha, before the divine punishment breaks in 
upon them. The word yy is not by any means aspectus, but eye, 
comp. chap. 9:1," To the Lord is the eye of men," for, " The eye 
of the Lord is directed upon men." On a nearer view the prophet 
perceives that a woman sits in the middle of the Epha, v. 7. " This 
was (namely, what I saw, i. e behold there) a woman sitting in the 
middle of the Epha." She is designated by the angelns interpres 
as ungodliness, (comp. Mai. 1:4,) the ungodly Jewish people, who, 
as they had heretofore sat in their sins, were now to be surrounded 
by their punishments. Thereupon the woman in the Epha, in which 
she had hitherto sat upright, so that she appeared above it, is thrown 
down, and a great lump of lead laid upon her, symbolizing, that 
the Lord by his judgment would arrest the people in their sinful 
course. Two winged women appear, and with the swiftness of wind 
bear the Epha with the woman through the air into the land of 
Shinar. There the Epha is let down, and the woman receives her 
permanent dwelling-place. The women, no doubt, designate the 
instruments, which God will employ for the punishment of his peo- 
ple, hostile nations, as formerly the Babylonians. The duality 
belongs to the symbol, as such, not to the thing signified by it. For 
the carrying of so great a measure as the Epha, two persons were 
required. Great difficulty has been occasioned to the interpreters 
by the mention of Shinar, as the land into which Israel should he 
carried away. It has led Rosenmiiller to suppose, that the prophet 
does not here predict the future, but describe the past, the carrying 
away of the Jews to Babylonia. But this supposition is entirely 
untenable. All other visions of Zechariah relate to the future, how 
should this only make an exception ? Immediately before a future 
judgment is predicted, how then should this prediction refer to past 
times? And besides, the residence in Shinar, in v. 11, in contrast 
with the former, which was brief, is represented as of long, and 
indeed as of perpetual duration. Ignorance of the custom of the 
prophets, arising from the nature of the prophetic vision, to represent 
the future under the image of the past, and to call the former by the 
name of the latter, has led to these and other unnatural assump- 

48 ZECHARIAH 6 : 1-8. 

tions. Of this custom we have here a splendid and incontrovertible 
example, which serves completely to repel several attacks (which 
arise from ignorance of it) against the genuineness of the second 
part. The luture dwelling-place of the Jews when driven out of 
their own land, the prophet here designates without farther expla- 
nation by the name of the country of thjir former exile, just as he 
does chap. 10 : 11, their future oppressors by the names of Ashur 
and Egypt. 

8. The Four Chariots. 
Chap. 6: V. 1-8. 

The import of this vision stands in close connexion with the 
foregoing. After, — such is its simple meaning, — Israel shall 
have been visited by severe divine judgments, equally fearful chas- 
tisements shall be inflicted upon the instruments, which God had in 
part employed in the punishment of his people; upon all nations from 
one end of the earth to the other. Here, therefore, the last general 
judgment is described, which, according to the unanimous predic- 
tion of the prophets, will follow the partial judgment upon Israel, 
and close the present course of the world. See further, on chap. 
12, which is exactly parallel, as in general between the visions of 
the first and the prophecies of the second part a remarkable par- 
allelism exists, which will hereafter be more fully noticed. 

We now take a nearer view of the imagery in which this revela- 
tion is imparted to the prophet. 

He sees four chariots, v. 1. With respect to their import, he is 
taught by the declaration of the nvgclus intcrpres, v. 5, " These are 
the four winds of heaven, which go forth after they have appeared 
as ministers before the Lord of the whole earth." The four winds 
of heaven serve as a symbol of the divine judgments. From their 
personification, the circumstance is explained, that chariots are 
attributed to them, and that these are afterwards identified with the 
winds, of which they are to be considered as the vehicles. The 
figurative representation receives light from some passages of Jere- 
miah and Ezekiel, whom the prophet seems here, as commonly, 
without prejudice to his independence, to have imitated. The divine 
judgments breaking in from all sides appear also, Jer. 49 : 36, under 
the image of the four winds ; " And I bring against Elam the four 

ZECHARIAH G: 1-8. 49" 

winds from the four ends of heaven, and I scatter them according 
to all these winds." In Ez. chap. 1, the judgments to be extended 
over ail regions of the earth are symbolized by the four cherubim, 
over whose heads the Lord is enthroned, and whose chariots are 
driven towards the regions for which they have been destined ; by 
the wind, the divine anger, or the divine sentence of punishment, 
comp. V. 12, as in v. 4 ; they come with a great storm from the north, 
to indicate that the divine judgment breaks in upon Judah from 
Babylon. Similar also is- Dan. 7:2; " I saw the four winds of 
heaven strive upon the great sea," symbol of the whole multitude of 
the inhabitants of the earth, Apoc. 7:1; Kul [inu juma tlSov riaaa- 
Q«q ayyiXovg suTiaTug inl rug Tsuaagag ywviug rijg yr]g, KQajoividg lovg 
TfdaaQag ufs/iovg Ttjg yijg. The only difference is, that here, as in 
Ezekiel, the winds themselves do not ride on the chariots, but an- 
gels, who are placed over the winds and driven by them. 

The chariots go forth from the two mountains, and these moun- 
tains are of brass. The judgment is hereby designated as a conse- 
quence of the Theocracy. The symbolic representation is to be 
explained from the geography of Jerusalem. Ritter, Erdk. II. p. 
406; " a deep valley {^u&ela cpagny^, vallis profunda) runs parallel 
with the Jordan from north to south, but after a course of some 
hours turns eastward towards the Dead Sea. It is the very narrow 
valley of Jehoshaphat, and the loadi in it is the bed of the brook 
Kedron, which lies dry a great part of the year. On both sides of 
this valley, above where it turns towards the sea, steep hills of lime- 
stone rise to different heights; three of their summits, on the east 
side of the brook, are naked on the eastern declivity, but on the 
western shaded with shrubbery, especially with olive trees,- from 
which they have from the most ancient time borne the name of the 
Mount of Olives." That the prophet had in view particularly the 
valley of Jehoshaphat appears from the parallel passage, chap. 14 : 4, 
where, in a sense to be hereafter determined, an extension of this 
valley, by the cleaving asunder of the Mount of Olives, is promised. 
" And the Mount of Olives is divided in the midst, so that there is 
a great valley from west to east ; and one half of the mountain falls 
back towards the north, and the other towards the south; and ye 
flee through my valley of the mountains, for the valley of the moun- 
tains will reach to Azal." As, in the passage before us, the dis- 
course relates to the valley between two definite mountains ; so there 
the valley of Jehoshaphat xar i^ox^v is called the Lord's valley of 

VOL. n. 7 

50 ZECHARIAH 6: 1-8. 

the mountains. But why does the prophet, in order to designate the 
judgment as a consequence of the Theocracy, make the four chari- 
ots go forth particularly from this valley of the mountains? Because 
it lay under the Temple mountain, and was the nearest place to the 
Temple accessible to carriages, which was the dwelling-place of the 
Lord under the Old Testament. Here, therefore, (comp. v. 5,) the 
four winds of heaven stationed themselves, expecting the commands 
of the Lord. For a similar reason, because this place was the near- 
est to the temple, which was suited to contain a great multitude of 
men, Joel, chap. 4:1, represents the Lord as here collecting the 
heathen nations for judgment. " For behold, in those days, at the 
time token I shall restore Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all 
nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, 
and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage^ 
Israel, lohom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my 
land." On which Cyril of Alexandria remarks : XaQog 8s omog ov 
nolioig aiadlotg anixav rijg Itgovanlrj/x iv xolg n§6g rjoi fiigsai, ' if/iXov 
8s livm (faal innrjkatov. Wherefore were the two mountains 
called brazen ? To indicate, that the Lord surrounds his kingdom 
with a wall of protection, which can neither be scaled nor broken 
through. This truth was symbolized by the position of Jerusalem, as 
the Psalmist had already expressed it in the words ; " The mountains 
are round about Jerusalem, and the Lord surrounds his people." 
In order to make the type more conformable to the reality, the 
prophet converts the mountains, which cover Jerusalem on the east- 
ern side, into brass. As ibr the rest, that the whole description is 
to be figuratively understood, and that the existence of the temple 
at the time of the judgment upon all the nations of the earth cannot 
be inferred, appears partly from this very designation of the moun- 
tains, partly from the foregoing chapter, according to which, before 
the coming of this judgment, Jerusalem shall be entirely destroyed 
and the people carried into exile. 

The color of the horses is here equally significant as in chap. 1. 
It indicates the destination of the chariots to execute judgment upon 
the enemies of God, red the color of blood, black the color of mourn- 
ing, white the color of victory. But here the circle of colors suited 
to the sense to be expressed was completed. The prophet, there- 
fore, since no significant color remained for the horses of the fourth 
chariot, was compelled to give them an unmeaning color (speckled), 
and by a special epithet (D'2fp>?, strong) to signify the attribute, 

ZECHARIAH 6: 1-8. 51. 

which, in the case of the others, was already implied in the color. 
Not perceiving this, the interpreters following Bochart (Hieroz. I. 
p. ] 1 1 sqq ) have invented a meaning (piirpureus) for □"'i'DX, in this 
passage, which it elsewhere never has, and is the less capable of 
receiving here, since it occurs, v. 7, in the usual acceptation strong. 

After the prophet, v. 4, 5, has received, in reply to his question, 
information from the angclus intcrprcs respecting the import of the 
four chariots, he describes, v. 6, 7, the direction, which in inward 
contemplation he sees them take. " The chariots with the black 
horses go forth towards the north country, and the white follow after 
them, and the speckled go towards the south country. And, as 
the strong went forth, they desired to go over the whole earth, and 
the Lord said, ' Go and pass over the earth,' and they passed over the 
earth." The difficulty here, which has given occasion to the inter- 
preters for the most forced explanations, is, that the black horses of 
the second chariot are mentioned first, and that the red of the first 
appear to be entirely passed over. On a nearer inspection, however, 
this difficulty entirely disappears, the red horses of the first chariot 
are here the strong (disregard of the article is the chief cause of the 
errors of interpreters), those in comparison with which the rest were 
to be regarded as weak, although in themselves considered they 
were strong, and had before in part been designated by the same 
epithet; — the strongest among them. These are mentioned last, 
because, feeling their power, and not satisfied like the rest with 
any particular portion of the earth, they desire permission of the 
Lord to go over the whole, whereby it is intended to express the 
thought, that the judgment shall be strictly universal, no portion 
of the earth shall be exempted from it. 

The chariot with the black and that with the white horses both 
go towards the north country. There must be a reason why this 
country is expressly mentioned, and two chariots depart for it. 
The inhabitants of the north country, — according to constant usage, 
the Babylonians and Assyrians, — had been in times past the most 
dangerous enemies of the covenant people. They, therefore, served 
the prophet, chap. 5, as a type of their future enemies. In order now 
to express the thought, that after the latter shall have returned again 
to the Lord, (comp. chap. 12,) the former shall eminently experience 
the divine chastisement, he makes the executioners of the justice 
of God go forth in a peculiar manner towards the north country. 
That the north country is here to be understood, not properly, but 

52 ZECHARIAH 6: 9-15. 

typically, appears even from the foregoing chapter, where the 
prophet, not in a literal, but in a figurative sense, calls the country 
of those whose punishment is here announced, the land of Shinar. 

About the same is true in reference to the south country. On 
the south of Palestine dwelt the Egyptians, the first oppressors of 
Israel, who were elsewhere also combined by Zeciiariah with the 
enemies from the north, as a type of the future enemies of the cov- 
enant people, (comp. 10: 10, 11.) That only one chariot departs 
for them, represents them as comparatively less guilty, since their 
misconduct from length of time now appeared in a less striking 

The vision closes with an explanation of the Lord to the prophet 
concerning the design of the departure of the chariots. " Behold 
those, which depart for the north country make mine anger to rest 
on the north country ;" comp. Ezek. 5: 13 ; "I make mine anger 
rest," and Zech. 9:1, where the land of Hadrach and Damascus 
is represented as the resting-place of the divine sentence of punish- 
ment, which included in itself the fulfilment. The explanation 
indeed refers in the first instance only to one part, which, however, 
according to the above remarks, was the chief object of the divine 
judgment : but the prophet could easily hence deduce the destina- 
tion of the rest sent forth under similar circumstances. 

9. The Croicn on the Head of Joshua. 
Verses 9-15. 

The future developements of the kingdom of God, which the 
prophet had described in the preceding context, the judgment, upon 
the former covenant people, as well as also, after their restoration, 
upon the remaining people of the earth, had their cause and source 
in the promised Anointed of the Lord, and presupposed his appear- 
ing. To fix the attention of the prophet, and through him that of 
the people upon this point, it is once more presented to his inward 
contemplation towards the close of his ecstasy, and with this, as the 
last words indicate, at once lovely and terrific image, the whole 
series of visions, whose collective contents in some way refer to it, 
is closed. 

V. 9. " Then came the word of the Lord to me : (v. 10.) Take 
of them of the captivity of Heldai, of Tobijah, of Jedaiah, and of 

ZECHARIAII 6: 9-15. 53 

Josinh the son of Zephaniah, xolio have come from Babylon, when 
thou goest into the house of the last named; (v. 11.) take, I say, 
silver and gold, and make croiv/is, and place them on the head of 
Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest." Tlie prophecy pre- 
supposes certain historical circumstances, tlie knowledge of which 
is necessary in order to understand it. It appears, that the Jews, 
great numbers of whom remained in Babylonia, on hearing of the 
rebuilding of the temple, which had now been going on for five 
months, had .sent deputies with pecuniary aid to Jerusalem. This 
does not indeed appear from the expression " of the captives," or 
of the exiles in v. 10. For nSun, in the book of Ezra, is some- 
times a designation, not indeed of those still in the exile, but of 
those already returned, commonly called the sons of the captives. 
It is manifest, however, from a comparison of v. 15. There the rep- 
resentatives of the " captivity," are described as a type of the 
distant heathen nations, who will hereafter actively promote the 
building of the temple or church of God. This type disappears, if 
by the captivity, the exiles, who had long since returned, are under- 
stood, 'n"!, " and when it happened," connects this vision with the 
foregoing ; it was delivered to the prophet in the same night with 
the others, and contains a charge in respect to a symbolic action to 
be afterwards performed. With respect to the use of the Infn. 
absol. nips, instead of the Imper., comp. Ewald, p. 558. As the 
verb is separated from its object by the full description of those from 
whom the gold and silver were to be received, it is once more re- 
peated for the sake of greater clearness. nSun nXT precedes the 
naming of the particular persons, in order to indicate, that these 
have not come privatim, but as representatives and deputies of a 
whole corporation, the Jews still living in the exile ; just as in chap. 
7: 2, Scharezer and Regemmelech appear as deputies of the Pal- 
estine Jews, (" The house, the church of the Lord sent Scharezer," 
&c.) and speak in the name of the whole people, (" Shall I weep," 
dz-c, V. 3.) This representative character of the individuals was im- 
portant for the object of the prophet. Only in this respect were they 
suited to become a type of the heathen nations. — The interpreters, 
for the most part, suppose, that only three deputies had come from 
Babylon, and that Josiah, the son of Zephaniah, was the person by 
whom they were entertained at Jerusalem. They translate, " When 
thou goest into the house of Josiah, into which they have come," 
quam ingressi sunt, " from Babylon." But this is contradicted by 

54 ZECHARIAH 6: 9-15, 

V. 14, 15, where Josiah appears as a partaker in the dedication of 
the crown, as a joint type of the distant heathen nations, who should 
build in the temple of the Lord. We must, therefore, translate 
Sddd 1X3 "i»vX, "who have come from Babylon," and refer it to all the 
four who had been mentioned. The expression, " and thou shall 
go into the house of Josiah," is i. q. " and from Josiah, into whose 
house thou shalt go." The reason why the prophet should go into 
the house of Josiah probably was, that he was the treasurer of tlie 
community, in whose house the presents which had been brought 
were deposited. In the view of ilie prophet the names of the depu- 
ties are as tyi)ical as their persons; he regards them as intimations 
of the attril)Utes of those whom the persons typified, and of the 
blessings destined for them. This appears from the comparison of 
V. 14. There two of the deputies bear a name different from that 
which here occurs, but of the same import. "'I'ln, the robust, from 

nhn r= 0<\^ perennavit, sempiternus fuit, xiegcta viridique senec- 
tutefuit, is there called o"?!?, strong, from dSh, to be strong. Josiah, 
God founds or sustains, from T^^^^i V)^^,fundavit, from which 
comes Ti^V/ii fulcimen, fulcimentu?n, Jerem. 50 : 15, is there called |n, 
grace. This variation is plainly designed ; the easy remark oportet 
Jios homines binomines fuisse of several interpreters is not a sufficient 
explanation, and the efforts to change the text rest on mere caprice. 
It is designed to show, that the names should be taken, not as cur- 
rent coin, but in their original worth. That the other names also, 
besides those already explained, — Tobijah, goodness of God, Jed- 
aiah, God knows, Deus prospicit, and Zephaniah, God protects, — 
were suited to the design of the prophet, needs no further proof. 
On the phrase N-inn Dva, Michaelis justly remarks: "Die isto, quo 
sciL facer e debes, quce nunc mando. Forte deus in visione diem ali- 
quem cerium determinaverat, quern vero in visionis descriptionc ex- 
primere propheta minus necessarium duxit." — Take silver and gold 
and make croicns. The prophet should obtain as much of the silver 
and gold, which had been brought, as was requisite for executing 
the commission he had received from the Lord. There is a differ- 
ence among the interpreters with reference to the number of the 
crowns to be made. The common opinion is in favor of two, in 
support of which, it is said, that this number is required to make 
the type correspond with the following prophecy, which announces 
the union of the high-priestly and the regal dignity in the person 

ZECHARIAH G: 9-15. 55 

of the Messiah, and with the reality. But against this argument 
Mark has already very justly objected: " Ad snctrdoiititn cugitan- 
dum non diuit heic corona, sed persona et munvs Josucc.'^ We can- 
not perceive, why that should be made the subject, of an additional 
type, which Joshua, as has been said, chap. 3, already typified liim- 
self. Besides, we find no trace of two crowns, certainly not in 
the duality of the metals, which might just as well be applied to 
one as to more. Lastly, the question still arises, whether the name 
crown, n^aj'., can be given to the head-dress of the high priest, 
which, to say the least, it receives nowhere else. The choice, 
therefore, can be only between two views, either that but one, or 
that several crowns were made. The latter cannot indeed be sus- 
tained by the plural nnoj; . For this is sufficiently explained by the 
supposition of one consisting of several small crowns or diadems. It 
occurs entirely in this sense, Job 31 : 36, "/ toill bind it around 
me as crowns," where only one complex crown can be spoken of, as 
also Apoc. 19: 12; (xmI inl rtjv xicpnlr^v ttVTOv Sitxdtj/^ma nolXa), 
where not several separate diadems, but one composed of many, is 
attributed to Christ, as the mark of his regal dignity. The idea 
of one crown is favored partly by the unsuitableness and insipidity 
of a plurality, partly by its being placed on the head of one, Joshua, 
and partly by the connexion of the sing, of the verb n:.rin with the 
plur. nna;', v. 14 ; which, however, of itself would not be decisive, 
(comp. Ewald, p. 639.) — Thus far the prophecy by matters of fact 
expressed by the symbolic action. Let us now inquire, how far this 
could be intelligible to Joshua and his enlightened contemporaries, 
even without the following verbal prophecy. The putting on of 
the crown manifestly signified the conferring of the royal dignity. 
Hereby, therefore, the thought was forbidden, that the prophecy by 
matters of fact could refer to his person as such. Never could the 
kingdom be taken from the house of David without a violation of 
the promises which God had made to him. Joshua, therefore, 
could not doubt that the crown was placed upon him only as the 
type of another. Who this was, he had the less reason to doubt, 
since he had just before, chap. 3, been greeted as a type of the 
Messiah, since, according to Ezek. 21 :31, &.C., the diadem and 
crown should be taken from the royal stock, until they should be 
conferred upon the Messiah, and as David, Ps. 110, had already 
predicted, that the priesthood of the Messiah should be like that of 
Melchisedech, that he should unite in himself the dignity of high 

56 ZECHARIAH 6: 9-15. 

priest and king. All possible uncertainty, however, was done away 
by the following verbal prophecy. This was designed to explain 
the fi)reg()ing symbolic action in two respects; first, what was in- 
tended by the placing of the crown upon the head of Joshua, and, 
secondly, why the material of this crown was taken from the dep- 
uties and representatives of brethren, who were dwelling in distant 
lands. V. 12, 13, relate to the former, v. 14, 15, to the latter. 

V. 12. '* And any to him, thus saith the Lord: see there a man 
tohose name is Branch ; out of his ground shall he spring forth, and 
build the temple of the Lord." The prophecy is here placed after 
the synonymous symbolic action, as if independent of it. The par- 
ticle T\-.!r\ points to the Messiah as present, and admonishes Joshua, 
who represents hitn in name and office, to direct towards him his 
spiritual eye. The manner in which the appellation nov is here 
employed, as a sort of proper name of the Messiah, yet, as the 
context shows, with a close regard to its appellative import, points 
back to the earlier prophecies, especially those of Jeremiah, (comp. 
on chap. 3,) in which the Messiah had been represented as 
a sprout of David to be raised up by the Lord. The phrase 
nnV! I'^H'^'^ is to be translated, desubter sc germinabit. It contains 
the explanation of nnV. The great subject of promise will justly 
bear the name branch or sprout. For he will not descend from 
above in full glory, but, like a plant slowly springing up from the 
ground beneath, raise himself by degrees from his original obscu- 
rity. According to this explanation, nnno stands opposed to Sj»;^D, 
just as e. g. Exod. 20 : 4 ; " Thou shalt make to thyself no likeness 
of that which is in heaven above, S>'"3I3, and of that which is on the 
earth beneath, nnno," and Amos. 2 : 9. Correctly, Drusius : " Ger- 
men vacatur, quia ex se repr.nte succresctt, et ex radice sua in simili- 
tudinem gcrminis puUulabit." The explanation of others is to be 
rejected, who give to the verb nnv\ another subject than the Mes- 
iah, as Luther: " Under him it will grow;" Calovius: "Sub eo et 
yus regno germinabunt et florehunt omnia ; " Burk : "Gcrmen est ipse, 
et sub illo opus guoque univcrsum pnlchre germinabit ;" Jerome : " Et 
subter eum orietur multitudo credentium," Cyril, &c. It is an un- 
suitable image, that under the sprout, therefore, out of its roots, all, 
or the multitude of believers, shall grow. This growth does not 
appear till the shoot becomes a great tree, under which Ezekiel in 
the parallel prophecy, chap. 17:22-24, makes all the fowls of 
heaven dwell ; the substitution of another subject than the noun 

ZECHARIAHG: 9-15. 57 

immediately preceding is unnatural ; the parallel passage of Jere- 
miah, which the prophet had just had before his eyes, chap, 33: 15, 
" Behold I make a righteous sprout spring forth to David," shows,, 
that as the Alessiah is there he whom the Lord causes to spring up, 
so is he here the sprout itself. Another explanation, " He will 
sprout up out of his own place" (Alting: "c loco sua, turn quod 
ad genteyn, ex dome Davidis, Judcc, Abraharai, quibus factce sunt 
promissiones, Uim quod ad patriam ; " Tarnov, Reuss, &-c.,) takes 
vnnno as simply synonymous with lDip*vp, as it has already been 
explained by Kimchi and Abenezra, but erroneously, since ntin in 
the Hebrew, as well as in all the kindred dialects, never has the 
meaning j^Zace, but always, if the passages are accurately examined, 
that of bdoio. It deprives the explanation of npy of an essential 
characteristic, the original obscurity of the Messiah, and introduces 
in its stead one foreign to the purpose. It diminishes in this man- 
ner the force of the contrast with the following member, which 
consists in this, that he, who at first appears in obscurity, will so 
build the temple of the Lord, that every former building of it shall 
be comparatively nothing. — He builds the temple of the Lord. 
That the building of the outward temple cannot here be spoken 
of, as the Jewish interpreters dream, has been well proved by Reuss 
in the learned Dissert., qua orac. Zach. 6 : 12, 13. expL, Opuscc. 
t. I. p. 1 - 156. Nowhere is a building of the outward temple 
attributed to the Messiah. Our prophet had himself declared in 
the name of God, chap. 4 : 10, that the building of the temple begun 
by Zerubbabel, should also be completed by him; and this same 
temple, according to his predecessor Haggai, chap. 2:7-9, and 
his successor, Mai, 3 : 1, should be glorified by the presence of the 
Messiah. The building of the temple and the high priesthood of 
the Messiah must still stand iti a certain relation to each other. If 
now the purity to be effected by the latter is not outward, but 
inward ; if, as our prophet from his zealous study of his predeces- 
sors, (comp. Is. 53,) must have known, and according to chap. 12 
and 13, actually did know, this purity was to be obtained, not by 
the blood of animals, but by the high priest's own blood, then 
surely must the prophet, when he is led by the building of the tem- 
ple in his time to attribute such a work to the Messiah, be under- 
stood figuratively ; and the more so, since, as we have already had 
frequent occasion to show, it is his constant custom to rise from the 
shadow of future blessings to the blessings themselves, and to repre- 

VOL. II. 8 

gg ZECHARIAH 6:9-15. 

sent the future under the image, and by the name, of the present. 
— It is further to be observed, that it is not here asserted, that the 
Messiah would build a temple to the Lord, but the, temple of the 
Lord. The temple is thus designated as perpetually existing, as 
constantly the same ; it is, however, to be exalted by the Messiah 
to a glory never anticipated before. We now inquire, in what sense 
the building of the temple is attributed to the Messiah. The temple 
was the seat of the kingdom of God under the Old Testament ; it 
is this, not the walls or any thing else of an outward nature, which 
constituted the essence of the idea. Thereby, however, was it suit- 
ed for an image and type of the kingdom of God itself, the church, 
which by no means began with Christ, but, under the Old and New 
Testament, is one and the same. Cocceius : " Tcmplum autem dd 
unum est, nempp. ecclesia tcoc (Sbi'C,oiifvbiv, inde a promissione in para- 
diso proiniilgata, usque ndjinem mundi." This temple Solomon and 
Zerubbabel had contributed to build, so far as their outward efforts 
proceeded from faith, and were not directed to what was external as 
such, not to the shell but to the kernel, which remained when the 
shell had long been broken. 

V. 13. " And he will build the temple of the Lord, and he will 
bear mnjesty ; and he sits and reigns on his throne, and is a priest 
on his throne and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.'* 
The repetition of, " and he will build the temple," is by no means 
an idle one. As these words, v. 12, in the antithesis with " he will 
spring out of the earth," direct the attention to the fact, that a glo- 
rification of the kingdom of God, never anticipated before, would 
proceed from the Messiah, notwithstanding his original obscurity, 
so do they here, as the Nim repeated in both sentences shows, 
closely relate to the following, " and he will bear majesty." They 
call the attention to the circumstance, that the building of a far 
superior temple, an infinitely greater glorification of the Theoc- 
racy, was to be expected from the Messiah clothed with majesty, 
than from the poor and obscure Zerubbabel. They thus opened for 
those who were mourning over the feeble and small beginning of the 
new colony a rich fountain of consolation ; they raise their view 
from the poor present to the splendid future. — The words, " he 
will bear majesty," contain the explanation of the putting on of the 
crown in the symbolic action. The noun Tin stands by way of 
eminence for the kingly majesty, comp. 1 Chron. 29 : 25 ; " And 
the Lord made Solomon great, and bestowed upon him kingly maj- 

ZECHARIAH 6:9-15. 59 

esty and glory, no^n nin, which no king possessed before him ; " 
Dan. 11: 25, "They bestow not upon him the kingly majesty," 
n07n nin ; Ps. 21 : 6, 8:6, where man appears as a subordinate 
king appointed by God; and that in this special meaning the word 
is to be taken here also, appears from the reference to the symbolic 
action and from the context. Several translate, " He will receive 
majesty," and especially has Reuss given himself much trouble to 
defend this interpretation. But majesty and dominion are elsewhere 
also often represented as something borne by rulers, upon their 
heads, with reference to the badge of the regal dignity, the crown, 
comp, e. g., besides the cited passages of Chron., Dan., and Ps., 
Num. 27 : 20 ; " Thou bestowedst of thy majesty, "iTina, upon him ; " 
and this representation was here the more natural, as the prophet 
had before him Joshua, bearing on his head the crown, the badtre 
of dominion. " He sits," and "he reigns," differ from each other 
in this, that the former signifies the possession of the regal honor 
and dignity, the latter the actual exercise of the regal power. — The 
stiff, in 1XD3 is referred by several, especially Vitringa, Obss. s. 1, p. 
317, and Reuss (" ita in solium JehovcB exaltatum iri, ut non modo 
divines illius majestatis et gloria: particeps sit, sed actu etiam impe- 
rium ipse administret,") to Jehovah. But this interpretation plainly 
originated in over fondness for emphasis, which is too often manifest 
in the otherwise estimable treatise of Reuss. The close relation is 
thus overlooked, in which the first l5<?3~Sjr stands with the second. 
This relation shows, that the emphasis does not rest on the suff., 
that the object of the prophet is rather, to render prominent the 
thought, that the Messiah would be both a king and high priest 
on one and the same throne. This truth, however, was in the high- 
est degree consoling to the covenant people. It gave them a pledge, 
that their future head should possess both the power and the will to 
help them. As a true high priest, the Messiah should represent his 
people before God, and procure for them forgiveness of their sins, as 
the prophet had already more fully predicted, chap. 3 ; as a true king, 
of whose glory all who had preceded w ere only a feeble copy, he 
should protect the objects of his favor, and, in general, make them 
partakers of all the blessings designed for them by God. — In the 
last words there is a difference in the interpretation, first, of the 
phrase " between them both." Very ancient (even Jerome men- 
tions it), and widely spread (Cocceius, Vitringa, Bengel, Reuss, 
&-C.) is the interpretation, " inter ger men et Jehovam." On the con- 

60 ZECHARIAH 6 : 9- 15. 

trary, a still greater number of interpreters, (Jerome, Mark, Michae- 
lis, fcc.,) refer the phrase, " between both," to the two offices or 
persons of high priest and king united in the Messiah. This latter 
interpretation is clearly to be preferred. The objection, that the 
king was not expressly mentioned in the foregoing context, is of no 
importance, as the Messiah had been plainly enough designated 
as a king. The distinction between him as king and as high 
priest is the less strange, since a reference to the earlier Theocracy 
plainly lies at the foundation, where the two offices united in the 
Messiah were adrhinistered by two persons. Mark cites as analo- 
gous, the distinction between the inward and outward, the old and 
the new man. It is decisive in favor of this interpretation, that 
only according to it do the words stand in an apposite relation to 
the chief object of the whole prophecy, the union of the kingly and 
the high-priestly office in the Messiah ; but, in addition to this, the 
two must necessarily be the last mentioned, so that only according 
to the false reference of the svff. in ixp.'? can Jehovah be regarded 
as belonging to them. — A second difference occurs in the interpre- 
tation of Dl'7K' n^i\ After Jerome, (" Et consilium pacijicum erit 
inter utrumque, lit nee regale fastigium sacerdotalem deprimat dig- 
nitatem, nee sacerdotii dignitas regale fastigium, sed in unius gloria 
domini Jesu utrumque consentiat,") several, as Michaelis, (" Bene eis 
convenict suavis infer utrumque concordia erit") refer these words 
to the harmony of these two offices united in the Messiah, in con- 
trast with the discordance which often formerly occurred to the' 
injury of the Theocracy, when they were administered by different 
persons. Others, on the contrary, take DiSk/ as gen. objecti : con- 
silium de pace comparanda, conferenda, conservanda. This in- 
terpretation is plainly the true one. The first takes nifjr , " coun- 
sel, deliberation," in the sense " disposition," which is entirely un- 
tenable. Altogether similar is Is. 53:5, uniS^? ngiD, "the chas- 
tisement, which has our peace for its object," and Zech. 8 : 16, 
^ttSty □iSk' nsK/rp, which Jerome rightly explains : " Hoc est judi- 
cium, pacis, ut propositum judex habeat pacijicare discordes, juxta 
illud Evangelii : Beati parijici." The prophet, therefore, represents 
the Messiah as king, and the Messiah as high priest, devising the 
best method and way to secure peace and prosperity to the covenant 
people. If at the present time the common effort of Zerubbabel 
and Joshua, which was only a feeble type, to promote the best inter- 
ests of the Theocracy, had been attended with happy results, what 

ZECHARIAH 6:9-15. 61 

might be expected when the true high priest and the true king, 
the Messiah, should strive with anxious care for this oltject, when 
he should employ all the means which these two dignities united in 
himself supplied. 

V. 14. " And the croforu shall be to Hclcm, and to Tobijah, and 
to Jedaiah, and to Hen, the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial iii 
the tctnple of the Lord." The prophet here proceeds to explain the 
other point of the symbolic action, the circumstance that the mate- 
rial of the crown had been received from the deputies and repre- 
sentatives of the Jews, who dwelt far from their native land. The 
crown should be to these for a memorial, not, as is shown by what 
follows, on account of their personal, but their typical quality, so far 
as each one at the sight of the crowns would call to mind, that those, 
who had consecrated them, in reality and name typified the heathen, 
who hereafter, as thei/ had done now, hastening from distant lands, 
would make every effort with the greatest readiness in order to adorn 
the temple, to promote tiie kingdom of God — Whether the action 
here commanded to the prophet in vision was afterwards actually 
performed by him outwardly is extremely doubtful, however posi- 
tively llulsemann (Vir Zemach, in the Thes. Theol Phil.l.,^. 1005 
sqq.) asserts it. Certainly the account of the Talmudist, (Middoth 
3, 8,) respecting the place, where the crown was hung up in the 
temple, can prove nothing. The opposite opinion is in a measure 
favored by v. 11, where the prophet, who was hardly a goldsmith, is 
.commanded to make the crowns, which can indeed, if necessary, be 
understood of causing them to be made. A far stronger argument, 
however, is drawn from the prevailing fondness of Zechariah for 
what is internal, which, in his case, as in that of Ezekiel, awakens 
a prejudice against the outward representation, which can be set 
aside only by weighty reasons, and especially from the analogy of 
the other symbolic action, chap. 11, which was certainly performed 
only in inward contemplation, to which also all the remaining vis- 
ions of this portion were confined. 

V. 15. " And they that are far off shall come and build in the tem- 
ple of the Lord; and ye shall knoio that the Lord of Hosts hath sent 
me unto you, and if ye will hearken to the voice of the Lord your 

God, so" How the participation of those who were distant, 

the heathen in distant lands, comp. 2 : 11, 8 : 20, Is. 60 : 9, 10, and 
other passages, in the building of the temple is to be understood, 
needs no particular illustration after what has been said respecting 
the building of the temple by the Messiah. If we looked merely at 

62 ZECHARIAH 6 : 9 - 15. 

this passage, we might be induced to take the words, " and ye shall 
know," &.C., as words of the prophet; but the comparison of chap. 
2:9, 11, and chap. 4: 9, where they are spoken by the angel of 
the Lord, througli wliom the prophet receives his revelations, shows, 
that here also they belong to him ; and this supposition is the more 
natural, since the prophet, v. 12, expressly introduces as speaking 
Jehovah of Hosts, as the angel of the Lord in the former passage 
also is called. The result, the active participation of the heathen 
in building up the kingdom of God, should in the future furnish a 
proof of the divine origin of both the symbolical and'the verbal pre- 
diction. — The last words have been erroneou.sly understood in vari- 
ous ways, Jerome. " Fient autcm oi/iuia, qncB proinissnsinit, si domi- 
num audirc voluerint, it acta poznitcntia in bonis operibus manserint." 
Theodoret : Taviu dd, (prjair, iozat, xai to 7iQoar,y.ov Si^Ejai niqag, 
iav vfisig to7? &Hotg vnaxovarjts Xoyoig. According to this, the ap- 
pearing of the Messiah, and especially the participation of the 
heathen in his kingdom, are connected with a condition, the faith- 
fulness of the covenant people ; but this is without e.xample, and 
absurd. To avoid this difficulty, others, as Mark, refer r^lr\\ merely 
to the immediately preceding declaration : " This, — viz. that ye 
will see from the result that I have been sent by God, — will come 
to pass if ye will obey the Lord." But this removes the difficulty 
only in appearance. For, " ye shall know," is in substance i. q. 
" ye shall have opportunity to know ; " and was true even of those 
who wilfully shut their eyes. But the omission of the pronoun 
should of itself have led the interpreters to another explanation, to 
the supposition of an aposiopesis, which gives a peculiarly emphatic 
sense. Comp. similar examples, besides the entirely analogous one 
in Zechariah himself, chap. 7 : 7, 2 Sam. 2 : 27, 5 : 8 ; in the New 
Testament, e. g. Luke, 13:9; xup fisv noiriai] xaqnov, d dk iiriye, 
tig TO fiillov iKKOipug avTi]v. Weiner, Gramm. Aufl. 3, p. 478. 
And this is the more natural, as it is one of the peculiarities of 
Zechariah, to use n;ni far oftener than any other prophet as a 
mere prelude. " If ye will hearken to the voice .of the Lord, so, — 
ye shall have a part in all these blessings, so will the Messiah de- 
liver you from sin as your high priest, and make you happy as 
your king." With this earnest word of admonition the angel of 
the Lord closes at the same time this particular revelation, and the 
whole connected series of revelations, which, in this memorable 
night, he imparts to the people through our prophet. 

ZECHARIAH 6:9-15. 63 

We have yet to give a sketch of the history of the interpretation 
of this prophecy. In the more ancient writings of the Jews we still 
find traces of the prevalence of the Messianic interpretation. The 
Chaldee Paraphrase introduces it into the translation : xnn: NH 
'3iiTl ^Sjnn Tn;' n'oty Nn-tyro. " Behold there the man, Messiah 
is his name, he will be revealed and glorified." In Breschit Rabba, 
(comp. Vol. I. p. 485,) in Raim. Martini, pp. 155, 759, it is said : 
" R. Barachias brings forward this : God says to the Israelites : Ye 
say to me, we are orphans and have no father ; the Goel also, whom 
I will raise up to you, has no father, as Zech. 6 : 12; Behold it is 
a man by name Branch, who will spring up from under himself. 
And so says Is, 53 : 3 ; He shoots up before him as a sprout." In 
Echa Rabbati, an old commentary, or a sort oi catena, on the Lam- 
entations, it is said, in the enumeration of the names of the Messiah 
in Raim. Mart. p. 880, " Joshua Ben Levi said, He is called sprout, 
as it is said, 6 : 12;" comp. other passages in Schottgen, Hor. Hebr. 
II. p. 219 sqq. 104, 422. His Jtsus der wahre 3Iessins, p. 402. 
Still it must not be overlooked, that before the period when studious 
efforts were made to distort and pervert all Messianic prophecies, 
another interpretation existed, which referred the whole to Joshua 
and Zerubbabel. The way in which this interpretation was brought 
into the text we learn from Jerome. By this sprout was understood 
Zerubbabel ; in v. 13, at rrTji, a change of the subject was assumed, 
in order to get rid of the union, which could not be shown in his 
case, of the regal and high-priestly dignity; He, Zerubbabel, will 
sit and reign on his throne, and there will also be a priest Joshua on 
his throne ; " Sed et pontifex Jesus, Jil. Josedech, sedebit in sacerdo- 
tali throno etjunctis animis atque consiliis dei popidum gubernabunt. 
Et erit pax inter duos illos, h. e. inter eum, qui de tribu regia est, et 
etim, qui de Levitica stirpe descendit, ut saccrdotium pariter et reg- 
num dei populum regant." The innocent occasion of this interpre- 
tation, which was welcome to most of the later Jewish interpreters 
on account of doctrinal prejudice, was given by the words, " He will 
build the temple of the Lord." As they did not perceive, that the 
prophet, who regarded the building of the outward temple, carried 
on in the present, as a type of one which was to be future and more 
glorious, in like manner as its conductors, Joshua and Zerubbabel, 
were regarded as a type of the future spiritual master-builder, here 
looked beyond the shadow to the substance, they believed, that these 
words excluded the reference to the Messiah, and sufficiently estab- 

64 - ZECHARIAH 6:9-15. 

lislied the reference to Zerubbabel, who, in the preceding context, 
chap. 4 : 9, is mentioned as builder of the temple. 

The pernicious influence of this misunderstanding, which has 
the less ground in reality in the case of Zechariah, (the more usual 
it is for him to rise from the shadow to the substance,) may also be 
perceived in some interpreters of the Christian church. Thus, The- 
od. : TavTtt ds unai'TH nt^l rov Zo^o^a^fX nQonyogi^vti, vi'x uig fiiidimo 
XfX^ivToc, mAA' (x>g fji^dinoi ttjv rj/f/iorluv ninofihjCpoToc. So also Euse- 
bius, Demunstr. 4, 17. In their case this error was the more pardon- 
able, since the naQtniirifdn of v. 13, connected with this interpreta- 
tion was favored by the Alexandrine version, to the use of which 
they were confined. The Seventy, participating perhaps themselves 
in this error, translate, " and he is a priest on his throne," by xai 
earni 6 IfQfvg ex df^ioiv aviov, and make, therefore, out of the king, 
who is himself at the same time a high prie-st, a king and a high 
priest standing by his side. It would be expected, that Grotius 
would eagerly seize the plausible ground for rejecting the Messianic 
interpretation, which was afforded him by such predecessors. Ac- 
cording to him, the sense of the prophecy may be paraphrased as 
follows : Sicut domus Davidis renala est in Serubabele, ita -per eum 
renascctur templum, {r\DT rnnnni he explains by " the temple will 
spring up under him, under his feet"), " aijus primum posittu-us est 
lapidem. Ipse quoqiie portabit coronam principis ct in solio sedens 
simul cum senatoribus jura dicet. Etiam sacerdos in eodem illo 
smatu solium habchit, ct optime inter illos duos conveniet." — In the 
steps of Grotius followed Le Clerc, who, in contradiction to his own 
interpretation on Jer. 23 : 5, where he refers this passage, as well as 
chap. 3, to the Messiah, in the translation of Zechariah (he has not 
left a commentary) makes Joshua and Zerubbabel the object of the 
prophecy ; and with them agrees the superficial Calmet, who, strange 
enouorh, not merely by the Catholics, but also in England by the 
Protestants, is regarded as a sort of exegetical authority. In recent 
times, Eichhorn (Hebr. Proph. 3, p. 353 sqq.) sought to reestablish 
this interpretation without any regard to the fundamental refutations 
of it, e. g. by Mark, and by Reuss (I. c. p. 68 sqq) This, however, 
is not surprising, when we consider the dread of labor, and neglect 
of all former learned apparatus, manifest throughout the whole work. 
In the highest degree naive is the way, in which he seeks to free 
himself from the difficulty attending this interpretation, that in the 
symbolic action the crown is placed upon only one, Joshua, while 

ZECHARIAH 6: 9-15. 65 

yet Ihe prophecy explanatory of it must refer to two subjects, Joshua 
and Zerubbabel. He asserts, tliat in v. II, after the words, " and 
place it upon Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest," the 
words, " and Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the prince," have 
fallen out, and restores thctn in his translation. Such an instance 
of caprice must surely, as an involuntary confession on the part of 
the author of the erroneousness of his interpretation, as a manifesta- 
tion of an evil exegetical conscience, deter every one from follow- 
ing him, who is not determined, like Theiner, who here also sub- 
scribes to Eichhorn, to reject at any price whatever stands in the 
way of his preconceived opinions. 

We here exhibit only a few of the numerous reasons, which refute 
this monstrous interpretation, and establish the reference to the 
Messiah. 1. The parallel passages decide for the Messiah ; in the 
first place, chap. 3 : 8, where, as here, He bears the name of sprout, 
and where Joshua is expressly designated as His type ; then the 
prophecies already cited of Jeremiah respecting the nnv, which the 
prophet plainly had before his eyes; lastly, Ps. 1 !0, the prediction 
of which, that the dignity of king and that of high priest should 
be united in the Messiah, is here only further carried forward, so 
that Grotius, though wholly inconsistent, confesses that every other 
reference of this Psalm, except that to the Messiah, is untenable. 
2. If the prophecy refers to Joshua and Zerubbabel, it cannot be 
perceived why the crown, the badge of dominion, is placed upon 
Joshua alone, and not upon Zerubbabel also, even granting, what 
is entirely without proof, that it might be at the same time a sign 
of the high-priestly dignity. Joshua could not be a type of Zerub- 
babel ; for what ground could the prophet have had to typify one 
contemporary by another ? 3. The translation of lXD3~"7;i.^ jriD n^ni 
in v. 13, by " and there will nho be a priest on his seat," is in itself 
in the highest degree forced, besides being utterly refuted by the 
discord, which would then arise between the verbal and symbolical 
prophecy. 4. Zerubbabel cannot be understood by the sprout ; for 
he is predicted as future, while Zerubbabel had now been active 
eighteen years in the new colony, and the building of the temple, 
here announced as future, h;id been already long ago commenced. 
Nor can it be said in reply, with Theodoret, that the discourse here 
relates to his promotion to a new dignity. Zerubbabel remained, 
after this prophecy, what he was before. He never attained to the 
regal dignity here predicted. 5, According to this interpretation, 

VOL. II. 9 

66 ZECHARIAH 7, 8. 

nothing can be conceived more unmeaning than this prophecy, 
which is so solemn and promises such great things. Joshua 
and Zerubbabel, — this were all, — shall continue to be what they 
are 1 6. The prophecy of the reception of the heathen into the 
Theocracy, v. 15, a feature from the Messianic time, stands then 
entirely isolated, and we know not how it came here. In like man- 
ner no reason can then be assigned, why the gold and silver for the 
crown should be taken " from the captivity," though this feature in 
a symbolical action, where nothing else is unmeaning, cannot be 
without design. That v. 14 treats of something entirely different 
from a common memorial of the liberality of the generous donors, 
(Grotius : " Suspeiidentur in templo, annotato nomine eorum, qui ea 
rite dedicarunt,'^) is self-evident. 

Chap. 7 and 8. 

These two chapters, which contain a distinct discourse, are sim- 
ple and easy compared with the foregoing and the following, and 
we need not dwell upon them long, since they contain little that im- 
mediately serves our purpose. The prophecy is separated from tiie 
foregoing by a period of about two years ; it falls in the ninth month 
of the fourth year of Darius. This date, subjoined by the prophet, 
is important, because it throws light on the event, which occasioned 
the prophecy. This was the following. The congregation (the 
house of God, v. 2) caused inquiry to be made by certain deputies, 
sent to the temple, whether they should continue to observe the fasts 
hitherto kept on the day of the destruction of the temple by the 
Chaldeans, and which contained a penitential confession of guilt and 
a prayer for forgiveness and restoration of the former prosperity. In 
this question there is at the same time included a supplication, that 
God would very soon change the days of mourning into days of 
rejoicing. Therefore, it is said, v. 2, the deputies have come to sup- 
plicate the Lord. Both inquiry and supplication presuppose, that in 
the relations of the present there was ground to hope for a favorable 
future. But this can be shown to be the case in precisely the fourth 
year of Darius. The building of the temple had hitherto been un- 
remittingly and successfully prosecuted. The new machinations of 

ZECHARIAH 7,8. 67 

the Samaritans in the Persian court, with a design (o arrest its pro- 
gress had been already completely defeated, (comp. Prideaux.) The 
pusillanimity of the returned exiles was thus put to shame, and they 
gave themselves up henceforth to the most joyful hopes in reference 
to the future. 

The question was directed to the priests and prophets collected in 
the temple, in the hope that God would reveal his will by one of 
them. This was done through Zechariah. His answer consists of 
two parts. In the first, chap. 7:5- 14, he employs himself in re- 
buking the base motive from which the question, at least with a 
part of the inquiaers, originated. That dead, hypocritical self-righ- 
teousness already existed in the germ, which, continually gaining 
ground, became at a later period as destructive to the new colony, 
as outward idolatry, resting on the same principle, had been in for- 
mer times. This self-righteous spirit exerted the most prejudicial 
influence on the view entertained of fasts. They attributed an 
intrinsic value, as a mere opus opcratum, to that which had no mean- 
ing, except as an outward manifestation of a penitent heart. They 
believed merit to be thereby attained, and wondered and murmured, 
that God so long delayed to acknowledge and reward it. The 
prophet shows how absurd was this notion ; and that the Lord requir- 
ed something entirely different, the fulfilment of the moral precepts 
of his law, without which all outward worship was only hypocrisy ; 
he reminds them, that the disregard of this requisition, loudly and 
repeatedly expressed by the former prophets, brought upon the peo- 
ple the previous inexpressible calamity, from which they had not 
yet recovered, and that a like cause would be attended with the like 
effect in future. — In the second part of the discourse, chap. 8, the 
prophet then proceeds to give a direct answer to the question, which 
could not now serve to confirm the hypocrites in their carnal secu- 
rity, but might well console and strengthen the weak in faith in his 
own and subsequent times, until the appearing of Christ. For the 
covenant people, — this is the sum, — so great prosperity is destin- 
ed, that the day of the destruction of the temple, as well as the 
remaining fast-days, at that time observed in remembrance of par- 
ticular melancholy events of the past; the day of the capture of 
Jerusalem in the fourth, the day of the murder of Jedaliah in the 
seventh, and the day of the beginning of the siege in the tenth 
month, should be changed into days of rejoicing, because the future 
blessings would be far greater than those which had been lost. The 

68 ZECHARIAH 9 : 1 - 10. 

prophet here also embraces the whole of the prosperity destined for 
the covenant people, and his prediction was first completely lulfillcd 
in Christ. We must refer exclusively to the glorification, conferred 
through him upon the kingdom of God, the conclusion, v. 20-23; 
where, as an enlargement upon Micah 4 : 2, Is. 4 : 3, Jer. 31 ; 6, 
the zeal of the heathen nations for admittance into the Theocracy is 

Chap. 9 : 1-10. 

A victorious hostile army inundates the kingdom of Persia, and 
precipitates it from the summit of its power. The prophet repre- 
sents particularly its march through those provinces of the kingdom 
of Persia, which lay nearest to Judea, in order by the contrast with 
their mournful fate to place the better lot of the covenant people in 
a stronger light. While Damascus and Hamath are overtaken by 
the divine judgment and captured by the conqueror, while Tyre, 
unprotected by all its riches, its bulwarks and its position in the sea, 
is plundered and burnt, while the adjoining Philistia loses its an- 
cient splendor, and its chief cities, Askelon, Gaza, Ekron, and 
Ashdod, sink into the deepest abasement, Jerusalem under the 
divine protection remains unhurt, v. 1-8. There can be no doubt, 
that we have before us a description of the march of Alexander, as 
plain as the difference between prophecy and history, which must 
always be observed, would allow. In the principal points the exact 
fulfilment of the prediction can be shown by express historical testi- 
mony. The capture of Damascus is described by Arrian 2, 15, 
Curt. 3, 25, Plut. Alex. cap. 24. The fate of Tyre and Gaza 
is so well known, that it need not more particularly be pointed out. 
According to Arrian 2, 27, Alexander changed the latter, once a 
flourishing city, into a mere castle, after he had repeopled it with a 
colony from the neighbouring tribes, exactly as it had been predict- 
ed, V. 6, concerning Ashdod. That the capture of Ilamath is not 
expressly related is not surprising, since the historians follow Alex- 
ander himself, who kept along the seacoast, while the land of Ha- 
math must have been in the way of Parmenio on his march to 
Damascus. Just as little is an express mention of the fate of the 
remaining cities of Philistia besides Gaza to be expected, since the 

ZECHARIAH 9 1-10, ^9 

historians of Alexander in describing his march throngh Syria and 
Palestine are so remarkably brief, (comp. J. D. Micliaelis, p. 190,) 
and since in general ihey select from the great mass of events only 
the most important, particularly thofc which throw light upon the 
character of Alexander, who is everywhere, especially with Arrian, 
the chief object of attention. It has been fully shown in the Bd- 
tr'dgcn, 1, p. 277, how history fully confirms, what is here predicted 
of the preservation of the covenant people during that expedition, so 
destructive to the neighbouring lands. 

In V. 9 and 10, the prophet contrasts the inferior blessing of God 
with the higher, the sending of the Messiah, at which he had 
already, v. 7, cast a passing look. (See on the relation of the two 
predictions the Introduction to chap. 9:11, &c.) 

Before proceeding to the interpretation, we offer a dissertation 
respecting the land of Hadrach, which is mentioned, v. 1, as the 
chief object of the prophecy. 

Concerning the Land of Hadrach. 

The opinion, which had been advanced by several Jewish inter- 
preters on the authority of R. Jose, and by several older Christian 
interpreter?, particularly since the example of Bochart, that the land 
of Hadrach, '^^in "f.^^J, Zech. 9 : 1, is a region in the neighbourhood 
of Damascus, has been rendered universally prevalent in recent 
times by the arguments of Michaelis, Supplem. p. 676, which have 
only been repeated by Gesenius, Jahn, Koster, Rosenmijiler, and 
Winer. It is the more necessary, so to proceed in its refutation, 
that the invalidity of each one of its apparent supports may be 
clearly seen. We affirm, that all historical testimonies, which have 
been brought for the existence of a province of Hadrach, rest on its 
being confounded with the Arabic city Draa, or Adraa, written 

Ci>fc-of t'^'^ ancient Edrei, 'P'^^J?, which Deut. 1 : 5, is mention- 
ed as the second residence of Og, King of Basan. According to 
Abulfeda, Tabula Sijricc, p. 97, it was distant about six and a half 
German miles from Damascus ; it was still of importance in the mid- 
dle ages, the residence of the Suffragan of Bozrah, is often men- 
tioned in the history of the crusades, and, according to the account 
of Seetzen, is now lying in ruins and uninhabited, (comp. Ritter, 

70 ZECHARIAH 9. 1-10. 

Erdk. II. p. 360-362 ) In several older writers the confusion of 
the two names, which, according to the Hebrew and Arabic mode 
of writing have scarcely any relation, very plainly appears. Thus, 
e. g. in Adricliomius, Tlieatr. Terrce S., p. 75. " Adrach, she Ha- 
drach, alias Adra, Adraon ct Adratum, CccltsyricB oppidum est, a 
Bostra viginti quinque miUibus, distans a quo etiain adjacens regio 
terra Hudrach nuncupattir. Dc qua Zacharias prophetavit. Post 
Christi tcmpora urbs hccc, episcopali scdt cohonestata, archiepiscopo 
Bostrensi parcbat. Atque quo tempore Occidentales Christiani 
rerum in PalcEstina potitbanlur, etiam vulgn civitas Bcrnardi de 
Scampis dicta fnit." In like manner, in Calmet, on Zech. 1. c. 
" Nous connoissons itne ville d'Atra dans l' Arable descrte, celebre 
autrefois, ct qui soutint dcs sieges contre I'arinee de Trajmi comman- 
dee par lui mime (Xiphilin. ex Dione et Dion.) ct contre celle de 
Vempereur Severe (Herodian. I. 3, 9, Zonaras p. 2 16 J Cf. Cella- 
rius I. 3, cap. 15." In respect to others, on the contrary, the 
permutation, because not expressly mentioned, needs to be more 
particularly pointed out. We commence with that, which, after 
Michaelis triumphing in his discovery, is cited by all as the most 
conclusive. We cannot refrain from quoting his language, which is 
somewhat diffuse: " Sed his addo, qnce anno 1768 « nobili Arabe 

Transjordanensc , Josepho Abbassi didici InUrrogabain inter 

alia, nossetne urbem aliquam (»^V^(_\^) s«c enim Uteris Ara- 

bicis scribcbam. Respondebat, esse ejus noininis urbem, deque 

ea se audivisse, sed nunquam ibi fuisse. Parvum nunc esse, sed 

major em olim fuisse ipsa Damasco referri Addebat, ferri 

metropolin fuisse mag nee regionis, qua terra Hadrach vocetur. No- 
biles ex hac terra Hadrach familias ortas did, multaque de ejus 
regibus et principibus narrare Arabes, referri etiam, quod olim 
gigantes habuerit. Ferri etiam fabulam, Muhammedem ex hac regi- 

one ortum Jam, instabai/i, ubinam sita esset. Hoc ncga- 

hat se accuratius referre posse, id modo meminisse audire, a Damasco 
versus desertum sitam esse, forte decimo a Damasco mil/iari. Oblitus 
sum interrogare, qitcB milliaria intelligeret, sed pvto, milliaria ma- 
jora Arabum, 19, v. 20, unius gradus." The easiest way of setting 
aside this testimony would be an appeal to the fact, established be- 
yond a doubt by Steph Schulz in the Lcitungen des Hochsten, that 
the person on whose authority Michaelis relies was a deceiver. But 
the subject would not then be entirely disposed of, since this de- 
ceiver actually was from the land from which he pretended to have 

ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 71 

come, and therefore might have imparted correct geographical and 
historical information concerning it Besides, on a nearer examina- 
tion his statement appears to be true, with the exception of his con- 
founding Hadradi and Adraa, which can the more easily be ex- 
plained, since he had never himself been in the place, and had 
received his accounts only from hearsay testimony. The reality 
of this permutation, however, appears from the following reasons. 
1. Not only does the direction from Damascus towards the wilder- 
ness, consequently towards Arabia, in wiiich Hadrach was supposed 
to lie, entirely coincide, but also the distance, since the ten Arabic 
miles make about 7 or 8 German. 2. Abbassi says, there are many 
traditions respecting the ancient kings of this region, whose former 
inhabitants are supposed to have been giants. Who is not here 
at once reminded of the account of the Pentateuch respecting the 
gigantic King Og, of Basan, whose iron bedstead was nine cubits 
long and four broad, and who reigned over the Anakims, a very 
strong and tall people, (comp. Numb.22 : 33, Deut. 2 : 10, 11,3: 11.) 
These accounts probably passed from the Christians, who, in the 
middle ages were still numerous in Adraa, to the Arabians, who, 
according to their custom, embellished tiiem still more, for which 
they had much inducement in the natiire of the country. (Accord- 
ing to Leetzen, it is full of caverns.) — What is said of the former 
greatness, and the present ruin of the city, perfectly agrees with 
Adraa, — If we have now disposed of this chief testimony, the only 
two which remain need not occasion any embarrassment. The one 
is that of Theodoret : 'aSqixx ^olig eail ttJ? 'Agty-^iac. The permuta- 
tion was here the more easy, as Theodoret expresses the Hebr. H 
by a, and that it really existed is placed beyond a doubt, by the de- 
signation of Adrach, as a city in Arabia. The second testimcuiy 
is tliat of R. Jose in Jarchi, on the passage: " Scd dicehat illi 
Rabbi Jose, Jilius Damnscenm midicris, in disputatione : Ccelum et 
terram super me invoco : nntus sum Damasci, cstquc locus aliguis, 
cujus nomcn est JIadrach." As we have already had so many ex- 
amples of a permutation of Adraa and Hadrach, we can, without 
calling in question his honesty, confidently reject the testimony of 
R. Jose, who hardly investigated with accuracy, whether the He- 
brew and the Arabic letters exactly correspond, and perhaps had 
never seen the name of the place written. 

The proof already adduced, that hitherto no evidence has been 
furnished of the existence of a city and province of Hadrach, con- 

72 ZECHARIAH [)-. 1-10. 

ducts OS beyond its immediate object. It shows, at the same time, 
that liddrach cannot be a proper name. If, indeed, the word 
occurred in a historical book, as the Pentateuch, or one of the other 
older books, as a conjectural appellation of a comparatively unim- 
portant place, in a region little known in ancient or modern times, 
perhaps in the interior of Africa, then nothing could be more illogi- 
cal than this conclusion. But here is directly the opposite of all 
this ; it occurs in a prophetical book, where symbolical appellations 
are to be expected in accordance with the whole character of pro- 
phetic representation ; in one of the latest books of Scripture, where- 
by the evasion is excluded, that all remembrance of the place ex- 
cept the name, had perished, it designates not indeed a single city, 
but a whole region, or a whole land, whose nearness to Damascus 
shows, that we must look for it in a cultivated portion of the earth, 
sufficiently known in ancient and modern times. How then can it 
be conceived, that such a land, if it actually existed under the geo- 
graphical name of Hadrach, should escape all ancient and modern 
researches? That the Seventy knew nothing of any such country, 
is evident from their changing the name to 2'idgi/.x, which is by no 
means, as Michaelis 1. c. p. 679, asserts, a mistake, but the original 
reading contained in all manuscripts, which Jerome corrected, not 
by Greek miinuscripts, but by the Hebrew text. That, in general, 
the older Jews were not in possession of any historical information 
respecting a land of Hadrach, is evident from the fact, that it was 
universally understood by them as a symbolic designation. The 
Chaldee translates nniiT Xi;"?xn, in terra australi, probably with 
reference to the passages, Job 9:9, 37 : 9, where jT^n "'^nn, " the 
chambers of the south," occurs of the extreme and inaccessible re- 
gions of the south, not considering that the idea of the south here 
lies only in the word [On. Jarchi says, expressly, that the figurative 
understanding of the word prevailed among the Jews, until Rabbi 
Jose established his better view, as he supposed. Jerome, who here 
also drew from a Jewish source, as is shown by the agreement of 
his explanation with that of the Jews, makes no mention whatever 
of the existence of a literal interpretation. In this condition of 
things, therefore, we have the less reluctance to regard Hadrach 
as a figurative designation, since the use of such designations by the 
prophets is so very frequent. It is known that in Isaiah, Jerusalem 
is designated by the syml)olical names Ariel, " lion of God," and 
valley of vioioii, as a residence of the prophets ; Babylon, by the 

ZECHARIAH9: 1-10. 73 

Desert of the ^ea, Idumea by Dumah ; in Ezekiel, Jerusalem by 
Oholibah ; in Jeremiah, Babylon by Sesach. Even had there been no 
external occasion why Zechariah should have chosen this figurative 
epithet', still this would have been no decisive objection ; for such 
was the fact with respect to most of the appellations we have cited. 
If now we have shown that this name is symbolical, it becomes 
necessary to point out its meaning. Here, however, we cannot long 
remain in doubt. The correct interpretation has not now to be 
sought. In respect to the meaning, not the application of the word, 
it is the oldest interpretation extant, and is perhaps confirmed by 
the authority of tradition, although on account of its intrinsic advan- 
tages, it stands in no need, of any such support. Jarchi and Kimchi 
say : " Allegoricc interpretabatur R. Juda Jib'us Elai, (a pupil of 
Akibah in the time of Adrian, comp. Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. 1, p. 411), 
de 3Icssia, qui sit acitius (in) gcntibus; ct mollis ("j")) Israeli." Jer- 
ome : " Assiimtio verbi domini, acuti in peccatores, mollis in justos : 
Adracli quippe hoc resonat, ex diiobus integris nomen compositum : 
Ad acutnm, Rach mollc tenerumque signijicans." We readily re- 
linquish to both their Messianic interpretation, and receive from 
them only their explanation of, the words. In accordance with this, 
the land Hadrach, is the land strong-toeak, a land, which, now strong 
and powerful, when the threatened divine judgment takes place, shall 
be weakened and brought down. 

It is easy to show that this interpretation is entirely sustained by 
philology, and, in general, that it is the only one which is admissible. 
That the practice of composition was in use not only in actual 
proper names, but also in symbolic appellations, is evident from 
such examples as Ariel, Jehoshaphat, Abiad, &.c. The word, nn, 
properly signifies indeed sharp, spoken of the sword, Ps. 57 : 5, 
Is. 49 : 2. Then, however, in a metaphorical sense, acris, " active, 

powerful." In the Arabic the verb (_X:^. has the sense, vehcmens 
fuit, diirus in ira, pngna, and with similar import occurs also the 
Hebr. nnn, in Hab. 1 : 8, where it is said of the horses of the Chal- 
deans nnr \3NTn nn, on which Bochart, Opp. II. c. 826, very justly 
remarks: " 3Ialim tamcn (nn) referre (id animum ; et tarn lupos, 
quam equos hie 6^(7g et acres did, quia quidquid agendum sibi pro- 
ponunt, acriter ezequuntur et summa contentione." In reference to 
the word '^1 no farther explanation is necessary, since all agree, 

VOL. II. 10 

74 ZECHARIAH 9:1-10. 

(comp. e. g. Winer s. v.), that it signifies mollis, tener, and second- 
arily, (h'bilis, iufrmiis. 

According to this interpretation, therefore, the symbolical appella- 
tion of the land comprehends at the same time the prediction of its 
impending fate, the substance of what the prophet had before fore- 
told concerning it. Tiiis must recommend the interpretation the 
more iu the case of a prophet, who relied so much on his predeces- 
sors, siiiice we can produce from tiiem several entirely analogous 
examples The first is that of I.saiah 21 : I, where, in a prophecy 
predicting the destruction of Babylon, it is called D; "i3"3n, the des- 
ert of the sea. Did we follow the interpretation of Gesenius, this 
passage would not indeed be to the purpose ; it would contain merely 
a geograpiiical designation of Babylon. He translates, " the plain 
on the sea," i. e. on the Euphrates, but this is inadmissible, even on 
philological grounds. It is impossible that "1570, according to ety- 
mology and usage, can signify a highly cultivated plain, which the 
country round Babylon at that time was. It everywhere means a 
region which is suited only for pasturage, and secondarily a wilder- 
ness. There can be no doubt, that Babylon on account of its im- 
pending total destruction is called a desert, and a desert of the sea, 
because the waters of the Euphrates, no longer restrained by the 
broken dykes, overflow the level country, and convert it into a 
marsh, which it formerly was, according to ancient accounts. The 
correctness of the latter supposition is evident from the parallel pas- 
sage, chap. 14 : 23, where it is said of Babylon : " 1 will make her 
pools of water," D'r5~'nJX. A complete commentary on both words 
is furnished by Jer. chap. 51 : 42, 43. — Another analogy is supplied 
by the superscription : " Burden upon Durnah," in the prophecy of 
Isaiah against Edom, chap. 21 : 11, nnn, silence. Death-still- 
ness shall reign in the desolate land. This figurative designation is 
the more suitable, since in the prophecy itself the calamity is rep- 
resented under the image of a dreary and solitary night. — Most 
analogous, however, is the designation of Babylon by Sesach in 
Jeremiah, the formation and import of which must here be more 
thoroughly investigated. According to the unanimous assertion of 
the Jewish interpreters, -\^lvy is the same as Babel, according to the 
Alphabet Atbasch. Many Christian interpreters have rejected this 
assertion as a Jewish fancy, others have regarded it as at least ex- 
tremely doubtful, while others still, particularly Jerome, have adopt- 
ed it with great confidence. There can, however, be no doubt of 

ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 75 

its correctness. The opposition to it must have arisen partly from 
the circunijitance, that, while the import of the word Sesach did not 
readily occur, such a transposition was regarded as a useless expe- 
dient, foreign from the age of Jeremiah, and unworthy of a prophet, 
and partly from the idea that the Alphabet Albasch was something 
extremely complicated and artificial. The former ground of hesita- 
tion we shall hereafter remove ; as to the latter, nothing is more 
simple, than ihe operation whereby for the first letter of the Alpha- 
bet at the beginning X, the first at the end r\, for the second 3, the 
second from the end V, &lc., is placed, (comp. Buxtorf lex. Cliald. 
s. V tyjnx and De Abbrcviaturis Hebraic, p. 41.) The proofs that 
Jeremiah actually used this Alphabet are the following. 1. It can- 
not possibly be accidental, that the name "^^.fV^, according to the 
Alpha, tynnx precisely corresponds to that which is placed in its 
stead. Certainly such a coincidence would be entirely without ex- 
ample. 2. There is still another undoubted instance where Jere- 
miah has availed himself of this Alphabet, although less regarded by 
recent interpreters than the foregoing, while Castalio and Grotius 
do not hesitate to adopt the Jewish interpretation. It is found in 
the passage, Jer. 51 : 1. The prophet there says : "Thus saith the 
Lord : Behold I raise up a destroying wind, 'f^p^^S ^^.f^-Sj^] ^l^y^V.t 
against Babel and the inhabitants of the heart of my adversary." 
The great singularity of the expression here deserves attention ; 
" the heart of my adversary." This cannot be removed by any 
explanation, but disappears when we consider the remark of Jarchi 
and Abenezra, that both words together, when read according to the 
Alphabet Atbash, make D'Tt'O. The correctness of the interpreta- 
tion is here the less doubtful, since the number of the letters is so 
great, and an accidental coincidence is still more inconceivable than 
in the case of Babel. In addition to this, Jeremiah elsewhere also 
not only places in general, as chap. 50 : 10, U^y\£!2, Chaldeans, for 
the land of the Chaldeans, but, precisely as in the present instance, 
combines Babel and Joschbe Kasdim. Thus, chap. 51 : 35, 'PDH 
Dn'^3 \3-w^' — hvi. ^DT] — ^53-Si; '^Vi^. The fitness of the play upon 
words, — the Chaldeans, as the most dreaded enemies of the people 
of God in the time of the prophet, called " the heart of his adversa- 
ry," — is obvious. It appears that the key to the interpretation of 
this passage was not discovered again by the later Jews, but has been 
handed down by tradition. The translation of the Seventy : y.ul inl 
Tovg naioixovvTug XaXdaiovg, shows, that they were already or 


rather still in possession of it ; that this was the case with the Chal- 
dee interpreters is evident from their translation 'NntyDn x;nx. Had 
Symmachus sought for nothing in the expression beyond what lies 
on the face of it, he would not have retained the Hebrew expres- 
sion (Je^xocfji-ia) in his version. 

We proceed now to make out the import of the name SesacJi. 
For, if this cannot be done, the charge of trifling would be in 
a measure just. That it has a meaning, however, is evident even 
from the analogy of 'od. 3^.. What this is cannot long remain in 
doubt. If we follow the formation of S^^ itself, which in Genesis 
is derived from SSa, to confound, and explained by confusion, a 
derivation and explanation, which Jeremiah certainly had in view, 
and which accounts for the otherwise irregular formation, then must 
l\^u; be derived from the verb "l^'^. This derivation is also confirm- 
ed by the occurrence of the infn. of this verb in Jeremiah 5 : 26, 
in the elsewhere unusual form i]'^, (comp. Gesen. Lehrg. p. 365.) 
To this must be added the great appropriateness of the meaning. 
The verb '^DB' occurs, Genesis 8 : 1, in the sense desedit, of the sub- 
siding waters of the flood; Jer. 1. c, of the crouching of the bird- 
catchers. Sesach, accordingly, would mean sinking down, and we 
have a commentary on this appellation in Jer. 61 : 64 : " Therefore 
shall Babel be sunk down and not raise itself up for the evil which 
I bring upon it." — That Sesach gives a complete analogy for Ha- 
drach must now be obvious. 

It still remains for us to inquire, what kingdom Zechariah intend- 
ed by this symbolic appellation. Every thing here is in favor of 
Persia, 1. The appellation itself shows that the kingdom must be 
one, which was at that time at the summit of its^ elevation and 
power. But of those connected with the covenant people, this was 
the case only with the Persian. To this all the rest were subject ; 
with none of them did the predicate nn agree. 2. This explanation 
is the most in accordance with the whole contents of v. I - 8. If 
in them the expedition of Alexander is described, nothing is more 
suitable than that the prophet should not proceed to describe the 
fates of the particular regions dependent on this kingdom, until he 
had mentioned, in the first place, the kingdom itself, the chief object 
of the expedition. 3. It is easily explained on this supposition, why 
Zechariah employs a symbolical name in this instance only. He 
lived under the dominion of the Persians; and to name them would 
have been the more dangerous, since the enemies of the Jews did 

ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 77 

all in their power to calumniate them as seditious ; comp. Ezra 4 : 
12, 13. The naming of the other regions, which were subject to 
the Persians, could not so easily furnish a ground of complaint, since 
it would be perceived, that, in case of a rebellion, the Persians them- 
selves would be the conquerors. 


V. 1. " The word of the Lord burdens the land of Hodrach ; Da- 
mascus is its resting-place ; for the eye of the Lord looks upon men 
and upon all the tribes of Israel." The nounJ^Eyn, in the superscrip- 
tions of the prophecies, has been from ancient times interpreted in 
two different ways. According to the one interpretation it means 
burden. Thus Jonathan, Aquila, the Syriac, and especially Jer- 
ome, who on Nah. 1:1, says, " 3Iassa autem nunquam praifertur in 
titulo, nisi cum grave ct ijonderis laborisquc plenum est, quod vide- 
tur;" comp. Hab. 1 : 1, Is. 13: 1. This interpretation was for a 
long period, if not the sole, yet the received one. According to 
other interpreters it means declaration, prophecy. Thus the Sev- 
enty, who sometimes render the word by oqai.iu, ogaaig, ^ijfia, very 
frequently by liji^i-ia, accept io. This interpretation, from being 
adopted by Cocceius (Lex. s. v.,) Vit.ringa (on Is. 13 : 1), Aurivijlius 
(^Dissert.]?. 560), and MichaeWs (Supjilcm. p. 1685), who, out of 
forbearance will not mention the names of those who adhere to the 
former, became predominant. It has since become generally prev- 
alent ; Gesenius (Lex. and on Isaiah 13: 1), Rosenmiiller, Jahn 
{Vatic. Mess. 1, p. 174), Koster, Winer, consider it as hardly need- 
ing any further proof. As we nevertheless consider it entirely erro- 
neous, a thorough refutation is the more necessary, as not merely 
the correct interpretation of this passage, but also that of chap. 
12 : 1, depends on the right explanation of the word. 1. It would be 
an extremely singular occurrence, if 4<^n, although equally suited 
for a superscription of a consoling, as of a threatening prophecy, 
should still be confined exclusively to those of the latter class. Such, 
however, is the fact, and it occurs so frequently as to exclude every 
thought of its being accidental. That in Isaiah >wn is prefixed 
only to prophecies which threaten adversity, is confessed by all, 
(comp. 13:1, 14:25, 15:1, 17:1, 19:1, 21:1,11,13, 22:1, 
23: 1.) If this appearance were found only in Isaiah, the conjecture 

78 ZECHARIAH 9:1- 10. 

of Gesenius, (1. c. p. 21), otherwise without support, would have 
some plausibility, that the prophecies against foreign nations oriiji- 
nally formed a particular collection, the Redartor of which was 
especially fond of the expression i<tji5, and employed it throughout 
in the superscriptions. But, if we perceive the same phenomena 
everywhere repeated, and in Nahum, Habbakuk, Zechariah, and 
Malachi, NU'n is found only in threatening prophecies, it is obvious 
that Isaiah and the other prophets must have been influenced' by a 
common reason ; and this can be no other, than that the import of 
the word renders it a suitable superscription only for prophecies of 
a threatening character. Vitringa, Michaelis, and others, in proof 
that Ntvn may stand also in connexion with consoling prophecies, 
appeal to the single passage, Zech. 12: 1 ; but only according to 
an erroneous interpretation, as we shall hereafter see. Gesenius still 
adds, in an unaccountable manner, Mai. 1 : 1. That the word is here 
connected with a prophecy of a threatening character is so manifest 
as to need no farther proof. 2. It cannot be proved, in general, that 
NK/o ever occurs as a noun derived from the verb H^l, in the sense 
to pronounce, but always from Xii'J in the sense tollcrc. The most 
plausible passages ar« Prov. 30 : 1, 31 : 1. But a nearer examina- 
tion shows, that here also the meaning, declaration, or word of God, 
is entirely unsuitable, particularly in the former passage, where it 
would make an empty tautology. The true meaning here also is 
burden, i. q. a weighty sentence, verborum pondcra. 1 Chron. 15: 
27, XB'^n '^^L' , according to Gesenius and Winer, imports master of 
the song. But that NU'n here stands rather for the bearing of the 
holy things cannot be questioned, if any regard is paid to the par- 
allel passages, 2 Chron. 35 : 3, Num. 4 : 19, 24, 27, 31, 32, 47, 49. 
But even in the cognate HN^D, the meanings {to bear, burden') are 
derived only from XK'J, in the sense tollere, and not in the sense to 
pronounce. Michaelis and Winer appeal, indeed, for proof of the 
contrary, to Lam. 2 : 14, where the predictions of the false prophets 
are called Ni.ty nix'^q, which is interpreted " vain predictions." But 
it is there rather to be translated ; " they see for thee vain burdens 
and exiles." Even the following □'nilD, exiles, dispersions, shows 
that mxi^/rD also must refer to the enemy. The false prophets en- 
deavour to make themselves beloved by the people, by predicting a 
great calamity, which should come upon their powerful oppressors. 
To give to cnno another meaning is inadmissible, because the 
verb HjJ, in Jeremiah, in whom it frequently occurs, always sig- 

ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 79 

nifies to expel, to disperse. 3. The very passage, Jer. 23 : 33, &c., 
relied upon for proof, that X^'n has the meaning of prophecy, 
evinces the contrary. According to the usual acceptation, Jeremiah 
is there angry with the scoffers, because they presuppose, taking the 
word «tyn, signifying prophecy, in the sense burden, that he would 
utter only prophecies announcing calamity. But this could hardly 
have so offended Jeremiah; and appeared to him as so ungodly, since 
his prophecies, before the destruction of Jerusalem, are in fact, gen- 
erally of a melancholy character, and as he had predicted, to these 
scoffers in particular, nothing but adversity. Their wickedness 
manifested itself rather in their taking the burden in another sense, 
than that in which it had been used by the prophet, which was that 
of a prophecy, which predicted heavy judgments of the Lord. They 
ask Jeremiah what is the burden of the Lord, what he has received 
for a burdensome prophecy. But this ungodly play upon words, 
which gives a deep insight into the unbelieving heart of the scoffers, 
could only exist when Niyo was used by the prophet in the sense 
burden. 4. Had Nt?o the sense, declaration, word of God, and 
were it therefore synonymous with Uii), it would still be strange that 
it never, like the latter, occurs with the genitive of the author, that 
on the contrary, the genitive connected with it, is always genit. 
objecti, e. g. S5.3 Xivo, nan Xtra. In the sense burden, Xb'n is also 
elsewhere connected with the genitive of him who bears it, or upon 
whom it is laid. 5. The sense burden, in this passage, is more 
agreeable to the parallelism. Xf>0 then corresponds to nnun. 'J'he 
burden of the word of the Lord strikes or falls on Hadrach ; its rest 
is Damascus. It is scarcely necessary to remark, that the prophet 
by these words indicates that a heavy calamity, and one which could 
not be evaded, because it was threatened by the Lord, and would 
be inflicted by him, would come upon Hadrach and Damascus. A 
parallel passage is Is. 9 : 7 ; " The Lord sends a word to Jacob ; it 
falls upon Israel." Precisely as Damascus is here represented as 
the rest of the divine word, or decree of punishment, it is said, chap. 
6:8, of the ministers and symbols of the divine justice, "They 
make my anger to rest on the north country." 

In the second part of the verse, as is shown by O, the ground of 
the divine judgment upon Hadrach and Damascus, as well as upon 
the nations afterwards mentioned, is given. The providence of God 
rules over the whole earth, which lies open to his view. He cannot 
fail, therefore, to remove the equality which exists between the fate 

80 ZECHARIAH 9 : 1 - 10. 

of the covenant people, and that of the heathen nations apparently 
favored by him. Very explanatory are the passages, Mai. 2:17, 3 : 
13, iSi/C, where the prophet introduces the people as speaking, and 
complaining that the Lord had visited them only with adversity, and 
conferred great prosperity upon the heathen. Malachi had there to 
deal with the ungodly portion of the people, who, without having 
fulfilled the duties of the covenant, boldly insisted on the fulfilment 
of its promises. Hence his answer is severe ; he threatens still 
heavier judgments. Zechariah had in view the true members of 
the Theocracy. He promises them, that the Lord at a future 
period, removing the existing inequality, would humble the proud 
heathen, and in the present instance protect his people during the 
hostile invasion, and, finally, by the sending of the Messiah, com- 
plete their jay. y]}, with the following genitive, here signifies the 
eye that belongs to any one, so far as it is directed towards him. 
That we are not, with several interpreters, to think of the eye 
directed to the Lord, appears partly from the entire in appropriate- 
ness of the sense, according to such an explanation, partly from the 
parallel passages of Zechariah himself, besides v. 8 ; " For now I 
see with mine eyes," chap. 3: 9 and 4: 10, where the eye of the 
Lord is a figurative designation of his all-ruling providence, comp. 
chap. 5 : 6. D-JX by the contrast with hi<-\\^: 'ta^Bf V^, is limited 
to the rest of mankind, with the exclusion of Israel. An example 
of a similar limitation is the very early occurrence, since the tribe 
of Judah soon gained an ascendency, of Judah and Israel as a des- 
ignation of the whole of the people, i. q. Judah and the rest of 
Israel. It appears that the prophet borrowed this idiom from Jer. 
32 : 19, which verse, in other respects, gives a complete parallel for 
the second half of the one before us. " Thine eyes stand open 
upon all the ways of the children of men, that thou mayst give to 
every one according to his walk, and according to the fruit of his 

works Thou, who hast done signs and wonders in Egypt, 

both in Israel and among men." 

V. 2. " Also Hamath tvill border thereon, Tyre and Sidon, he- 
cause it is very wise." Most interpreters after Symmachus {In xal 
iv''lfya& Tji oixoQovaj]) supply before non the relative, " also Hamath, 
which borders on Damascus," to be supplied out of the foregoing 
verse ; " is the resting-point (nnijp) of the word of God, — in like 
manner, Tyre and Sidon." Against this interpretation there can 
nothing exactly decisive be objected ; still to understand biiJ^n a.sfut. 

ZECHARIAH 9 : 1 - 10. 81 

is favored by the analogy of the following /w^wrcs ; and it is not to be 
mistaken, that the interpretation we have given after Aquila (xal ys 
'llfiu& OQioTi&i^autxi iv ctinfj TvQot; xal ^idav), only that he does not 
make Damascus, but Tyre and Sidon to border thereon, and which 
is defended particularly by Calvin (erit in jinibus Damasci, h. c. non 
immuiiis erit ah ea jjcena, quam dcus injligct vicino regno Syriee), 
and by Mark, is more forcible ; since the bare mention of the border- 
ing of Hamath, whereby we are to understand, not the city, but the 
province of which it was the capital, on Damascus, expresses noth- 
ing further, than what was already known to all the readers of the 
prophet, and is therefore very insipid. As Hamath is nearly con- 
nected with Damascus by locality, so shall it be also by a common 
calamity. — O is taken by several interpreters, and, lastly, by Rosen- 
miJller, in the sense quamvis, — all the cunning of Tyre and Sidon 
will not avail to avert the ruin, which God sends upon them. Oth- 
ers, as Jahn, regard it as the relative. Both meanings, however, 
notwithstanding the numerous examples brought by Noldius and 
Gesenius, rest only on a wrong interpretation of the cited passages, 
and belong to a period of Hebrew philology, which is now at least 
passing away, comp. Winer, s. v. '2 is here also a causative particle. 
As such, although the other usage were established, must it here be 
regarded on account of the parallel passages, which in Zechariah 
have peculiar importance, (comp. Beitrage 1, p. 366.) " Because 
thou hast made thy heart like the heart of God," (Ti?ri i;-''), — says 
Ezekiel, chap. 28: 6, to the king of Tyre, who appears to him as 
representative of the whole nation, — " therefore I bring upon thee 
strangers." In him the false wisdom of the Tyrians, who, taking 
the glory from God, attribute all to themselves, appears throughout as 
the cause of the judgment threatened against them. The phrase, " be- 
cause she is very wise," is the same in substance as, " because she 
thinks herself very wise," " because," as Ezek. 28 : 17 says, "she 
has corrupted her wisdom, that noble gift of God," (LXX. 8i6tl t'cpgo- 
rtjoav acpodga. Jerome : assumserunt quippe sibi sapientiam valde,) ac- 
cording to the uniform usage of Scripture, agreeably to which, since 
the blessings of this life, on account of the natural depravity of man, 
are commonly abused, and made the occasion of pride, the words 
which designate them express at the same time the associated idea of 
their abuse, in like manner as the words, which express their ab- 
sence, have at the same time the associated meaning of inward free- 
dom from the temptation inseparable from their possession. Some- 

VOL. II. 11 

82 ZECHARIAH 9 : 1-10. 

what differently Calvin : " Utitur honesto nomine per concessionem, 
quia quicunque animum suum ad falkndum applicant, ohtegunt suam 
vafritiem titulo sapientice ; volunt videri cauti, ubi tamen alios see- 
leste opprimunt suis insidiis et fraudibiis." According to him, 
after " because she is wise," we must supply, " in her own eyes," 
just as in Ezek. 28 : 3 : " Behold thou art wiser than Daniel ; 
nothing secret is concealed from thee." This usage also is very 
common in Scripture. More nearly considered, the two interpreta- 
tions differ only in appearance, because the abuse of spiritual bless- 
ings implies at the same time the deprivation of them, and particu- 
larly does wisdom, when abused, at once become folly. — Their hos- 
tility against the Israelites does not, as in the prophecies of Amos 
and Zephaniah, unjustly placed entirely upon a par with this, and in 
part in those also of Ezekiel (comp. chap. 26 : 2,) against Tyre, ap- 
pear as the cause of the divine judgment, but rather their pride 
alone, as is the case also in so many other prophecies against foreign 
nations. The prophecy against Tyre, therefore, is so far from in- 
validating the genuineness of the second part, that it rather furnishes 
an argument in its favor. As for the rest, wherein the wisdom of 
the Tyrians consisted, appears partly from the following verse, where 
the acquisition of immense riches, and the erection of fortifications, 
apparently impregnable, are cited as its effects, partly from Ezek. 
28 : 4, 5. " By thy wisdom and thy prudence, thou hast acquired 
for thyself power, and filled thy treasuries with gold and silver. By 
thy great wisdom in traffic thou hast gained great power, and thy 
heart has lifted itself up on account of thy power." — The sm^. nppn 
shows, that JT'JfyiV is to be translated Tyrus cum Siclone, com^^. 
Ewald, Gramm. p. 652. " When the predicate follows the subjects 

it regularly stands in the pliir. ; it can indeed stand also in 

the sin^., but only when one person is to be rendered particularly 
prominent, and the other is subordinate, as Dn*N "'nijni "'JX. I and 
my maidens, i. e. I with my maidens, roill fast. Esth. 4 : 16, 5 : 4 ; 
Exod. 21:4; 2 Sam. 3 : 22." This rule, although in the first in- 
stance it relates only to the connexion of the subject and predicate, 
is still entirely applicable to the present case. The disregard of it 
has greatly injured the interpretation of this passage. Several inter- 
preters, as Mark, assumini that no?n could relate only to the imme- 
diately prccedmg Sidon, are embarrassed by the circumstance that 
Ezekiel, whom Zechariab has in view, speaks only of the wisdom of 
the Tyrians, and that afterwards, where the particular manifestations 

ZECHARIAH 9: 1 -10. 83 

of this wisdom are cited, the Tyrians, and they only, are the subject 
of discourse. Others have been led by these reasons to refer np^n 
to Tyre ; thus Rosenmiiller ; but without any grammatical authori- 
ty, since, when two nouns in the same relation are plaaed together, 
the following verb in the sing, must necessarily refer to the latter. 
The true interpretation has been given by Ch. B. Michaelis. The 
reason for connecting Sidon in this way with Tyre must be sought in 
history. Sidon, although the founder of Tyre, had been obliged at 
a later period to yield to her the superiority, and had become even in 
a measure dependent upon her. This is presupposed in the account 
of the time of Salmanazar, in the fragments from Menander in Jo- 
seph. Arch. 9, 14,2, when it is there said, " Sidon has revolted from 
Tyre," {aJiiaTt] te Tvolav Hibihv x«t ^'Ak-ti koX tj nuXai TvQog xal nokXal 
uXXai noXsig, at rco imp ^Aaavglmv iaviaq fjaodu nagidoaav.) Such 
a dependence is evident also from Is. 23 : 2, where it is said Tyre is 
filled with the merchants of Sidon, if we do not with Gesenius here 
understand by Sidon, Phoenicia in general, a usage, which at an 
early period, when Sidon was still the chief city of the Phoenicians, 
must have naturally arisen, but which can scarcely be proved to have 
existed in later times. But, in any event, it is evident from Ezek. 
27 : 8. " They of Sidon and Arvad were thy rowers," on which 
Theodoret remarks : "Ort oi ntikai aov a^^ovrf? 2i8wvioi rvv avv toI? 
oixovai j-SiV "AqoSov tov vavTixov aov nXrjQOvat ozoXov, rag aocg iginovTsg 
vaiig' ol 8s nagct aot iniaTi]fiovfg tov xv^iQVi]Ttxov Xoyov avanXriQovai. 
Precisely as here in Isaiah and Ezekiel, the prophecy respecting 
Sidon is only incidentally joined to that of Tyre, and the fate of 
the former is represented as interwoven with that of the latter. See 
Is. 23:4, 12; Ezek. 28 : 21, &c. 

V. 3. " And Tyre has built herself strong holds, and heaped up 
silver as dust, and gold as dirt in the street." Cyril well gives the 
sen^p : "Ovyovv snBid^niQ (prjOLV vipriXr]v avaanwai ttjv Qqtgrjv SiSav re 
y.m TvQog, o'iovtul 8s thai Ssirol ts xnl h&qnvoTOi, xai Tf&aQo^y.aai 
fih in oxvqw^aai — ^yovv xal sTsgoig ngdy^aai, 81 tov av iv oi'xoi xal 
aeJ^oiTO TioXig, TTScpgov^xaai. 8s xnl inl tiXovtm (iiyK, TavTi]Toi, x. t. X- 
The sinful confidence in her fortifications and riches is implied in 
the emphatic nS. Ch. B. Mich. : " His munimentis sibi, ut valde 
sapiens, placet egregie, vidcturque dbi tarn egregie prospicere, nt 
quod metuat in jx sterum viz habitura sit." Similar is Ezek. 28 : 2, 
where the king of Tyre boasts, that he sits in the heart of the sea, 
and is therefore beyon-d the reach of every assault. According to 

84 ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 

Diodor. Sic. 17, 40, the Tyrians are determined to resist Alexan- 
der, TtiaTSVortfg Ttj t« 6xvq6ti]tv tjJ^ vtjaov, xul Toig iv avrfj nciQa- 
axfvoetg. The prophet has no doubt chosen "n^fD with reference to 
its other meaning, trouble, distress: (" Notatur munitionem fore in 
contritionem." Cocc.,) and at the same time with an allusion to the 
name "lif, Tyre. 

V. 4. " Behold the Lord ivill give her into the power of her ene- 
mies, and strike in the sea her bulwarks ; she herself shall be con- 
sumed by fire." Theodoret : "EntiSri aqcig aviovg Tijg Silag xi^dffioviag 
atpwgiaar, nuQav Trjg ainov dwu/neag Xrnpoviai. Cyril : Oi'div ovv 
«o« rovg S-ic) ngoay-Qovovrag ovfjaei nors. By the particle njn, the 
prophet, who, in inward vision, sees the threatening storm approach, 
admonishes his hearer and reader to see how the proud hopes of the 
Tyrians are annihilated, vly^ in Hiph. to cause to possess, and that 
any one becomes possessed, to give a possession. Calvin has already 
justly remarked, that this member principally refers to the amass- 
ing of gold and silver in the foregoing verse, in like manner as the 
second to the fortifications. " Nee dnbito, quin cdludat propheta ad 
id, quod paulo ante direr at, Tyriim cumulasse sibi avrum ct argen- 
tum. Jam ex opposito pronuntiat, Tyrum ipsam fore expositam 
dissipationi, quia scilicet quam ilia habeat expositam congeriem auri 
et a?-genti, dissipabitur a deo." Tyre, trusting to her possessions, 
becomes herself with all her treasures a possession of her enemies. 
We can neither with the Seventy {dia jovto ytv^iog x^govofn^asi 
avtt]v — and the Vulgate, ecce dominus possidebit earn) translate, 
" the Lord will take her in possession," on account of the reference 
to the foregoing verse, although zni, in Hiph. has sometimes the 
meaning occupavit ; nor, with Jahn, " he will drive them out," 
since the following member shows the incorrectness of the assump- 
tion, that the city stands for its inhabitants ; nor finally, with oth- 
ers, " he will make her poor," since the verb never, not even in 
1 Sam. 2 : 7, has precisely this meaning. The words, nS'n ^\:i n|n\, 
are commonly translated, "he throws into the sea her bulwarks." 
There can be no grammatical objection to this interpretation. For 
the verbs of motion can be joined with 5, the preposition of rest, 
when the thing which is moved goes into the place, and there re- 
mains, comp. Ewald, Gramm. p. 605. " To strike into the sea,*' i. q. 
so to strike that it falls into the sea, and there remains. There is, 
however, a twofold reason why the word should rather be translat- 
ed, " he will strike in the sea." 1. The parallel passage 10: 11, 

ZECHARIAfl 0. 1-10. 85 

D^Hj do nsn, "he strikes in the sea the waves" ; " into the sea " 
would here give no sense. As there D'Sj, so here Vn must be 
something, which is already in the sea and is there smitten. 2. This 
interpretation gives a much more appropriate sense. That the bul- 
warks of Tyre were thrown into the sea, the capture of the city 
being presupposed, is self-evident. As the fortifications of Tyre 
were washed by the sea, they must on its being taken, in part fall 
into the sea. That the walls should be struck in the sea is an im- 
portant circumstance. There were three things on which the Ty- 
rians grounded their invincibility, their treasures, their fortifications, 
their position in the sea. The last, and indeed, precisely the most 
important, and especially magnified by Ezekiel and also by the 
Tyrians at the time of the fulfilment, {xaTfyilwr tov jSaaiUwc, li tov 
Uoasidwyog eavrov Soxil TiiQifosadni. Diod. Sic. 17, 41,) is here 
first subjoined by Zechariah. Calvin : " Hac circumstuntia illustrat 
propheta dei potent iam, ubi volet earn nlcisci ; quia scilicet mare non 
arccbit vol impeclirt deum ipsuin, quum volet illuc penctrarc. Puta- 
bant enim se futos esse ab omni hostili incursu Tyrii, qiioniam mare 
ab omni parte erat illis instar triplicis niitri et triplicis fossae.'^ As 
for the rest, we cannot with Koster (Meletemata, p. 78), derive from 
this passage an argument for the genuineness of the second part. 
For the assumption, that insular Tyre was not founded until after 
Nebuchadnezzar is erroneous. According to Menander, (in Joseph. 
Arch. IX. 14, § 2,) insular Tyre was already in the time of Salmana- 
zar much more important than ancient Tyre, situated on the con- 
tinent. When it is shown that D;3 means, not " into the sea," but 
" in the sea," it is at the same time proved that 7'n is not to be 
translated opes, as it has been by several, and lastly by Forberg 
(Comment, p. 21). It must in any event signify the fortifications, 
since only these were in the sea, and it is unimportant whether the 
word is h'n, antcmurale, munimentum, or Vn, robur ; for the latter 
also must be taken as a figurative designation of the works of defence. 
V. 5, " Ascalon beholds it and fears, Gaza beholds it and trembles 
greatly, also Ekron ; for her hope is put to shame ; Gaza loses her 
king, Ascalon will not reign." Following the march of the conqueror 
along the Mediterranean sea, the prophet proceeds from Phcenicia 
to Philistia. Cyril gives the sense : utovjo (xiv yag, o'ri yal avTo7g 
laxwd TiQog ininovQiav rj TvqIwv ia^vg ' eJisidrj 5i xnfiivtjv TS&iaviai, 
ravTfjToi Xomov aiKalia&'^xaai r-^g elnidog. Zechariah here also ap- 
pears to have had in view passages of former prophets, especially 

86 ZECHARIAH 9 : 1-10. 

Isaiah, chap. 23, where the fear is repeatedly described, which the 
fall of insular and fortified Tyre would spread among the neighbour- 
ing nations and cities. Thus, v, 5 : " When the report reaches 
Egypt, they will tremble at the report concerning Tyre." V. 4 : 
" Be ashamed, O Sidon," but especially, v. 11, " He stretches out 
his hand over the sea, and shakes the kingdoms." And he says : 
" Thou shalt no longer rejoice, thou disgraced daughter of Sidon," 
&c. t03i3 and J33n, " that at which a man looks, an object of hope " : 
almost verbally parallel is Isaiah 20 : 5 ; DtD3D ti^op wn, " They are 
ashamed of Cush, to which they looked." ^JJ^P '^'?.'? "i?.*^, not " the 
king," but " a king, ceases from Gaza," i. q. " Gaza will hereafter 
have no king ; " so that the words contain no reference to the ceasing 
of any particular king from Gaza, as many interpreters have suppos- 
ed, comp. Amos 1 : 8 ; " I extirpate the inhabitants from Ashdod, 
those who bear the sceptre from Askelon." Jer. 49 : 38. These par- 
allel passages show that, by the disappearing of the king from the 
city, its entire ruin and destruction are signified, so that this member 
fully corresponds to the last : " Askelon will not reign," (errone- 
ously most interpreters, " it will not be inhabited," comp. 12 : 6.) It 
should not excite surprise here, under the reign of the Persians, to 
find the mention of a king of Gaza. It is known, that the Philis- 
tines from the most ancient times here ruled by kings. The rulers, 
however, of the great Asiatic empires generally suffered the regal 
dignity to continue where they found it, in the conquered lands; 
they contented themselves with making their kings tributary, and 
distinguishing themselves from them by the title, " king of kings," 
comp. Ezek. 2G : 7. Repeated insurrections first induced theChal- 
deans to deprive the Jews and Tyrians of their kings ; to the latter 
the royal dignity was restored during their dominion. In the expe- 
dition of Alexander express mention is made of the king of Tyre 
and the king of Sidon, a sure proof that the Persians also suffered 
the regal dignity to remain in those regions. 

V. 6. " And a rabble dwells at Ashdod, and I extirpate the pride 
of the Philistines." i.inr? is in any case a designation of a base 
class of men ; the meaning stranger, which several interpreters here 
give to the word, does not suit the only passage, Deut. 23 : 2, where 
it occurs besides. Its special import in this passage cannot easily 
be ascertained, since neither the connexion, nor the etymology, gives 
any certain indication. This, however, is no serious disadvantage 
to the interpretation of the jjassage, since no doubt this particular 

ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 87 

kind of base men stands for rabble in general, as they are accus- 
tomed to pour into colonies. — After Ch. B. Michaelis, Jalin and 
Rosenmijller erroneously assume, that " I extirpate the pride of the 
Philistines" is i. q. " 1 extirpate the proud Philistines." This the 
prophet cannot wish to say, since in the following verse he predicts 
the future conversion of the remnant of the Philistines. The pride 
of the Philistines is rather, that wherein the Philistines placed their 
pride, their fenced cities, their military power, their wealth, and their 
riches. These shall be entirely taken from them, and they shall 
sink into degradation. These words comprehend the whole extent 
of the prophecy against the Philistines, since they express that of 
the whole people, which had been said before of the individual 

V. 7. " And I remove his blood out of his mouth, and his abomi- 
nation from between his teeth ; also he shall be left for our God ; he 
shall be as a prince in Judah; Ekron as the Jebusites." The 
ground of the whole verse is a personification of the Philistines ; 
hence are explained, not only the sing. svff. X-in, and the pronoun, 
but also the much misunderstood words, " He will be as a prince 
in Judah." By blood is not here to be understood, as several inter- 
preters erroneously suppose, that of enemies, particularly the Israel- 
ites, shed by the Philistines, but the blood of sacrificial animals, 
which was drunk by the idolatrous nations at their sacrifices, either 
pure, or mixed with wine ; comp. the proofs in J. D. Michaelis, Crit. 
CoUeg. iiber die drei vnchtigsten Psalmen von Christo, p. 107-111. 
The abolition of one particular idolatrous abomination here desig- 
nates, as a part of the whole, the abolition of idolatry in general. 
D"'V^pt:', abomination, secondarily a usual designation of idols. Sev- 
eral interpreters take O'ViptJ? in the sense " flesh of idols." But 
VJK? |''3n furnishes no reason for this. The prophet is led, by the 
mention of the beastly practice of drinking blood, to represent the 
Philistines under the image of a wild beast, who holds fast his prey 
with his teeth. In this way, he points out, that idolatry was deeply 
rooted among the Philistines. " Also he will be left for our God," 
is a concise expression for " also he will not entirely perish, but a 
remnant of him will be preserved, in order that he may, at a future 
period return to the true God." DJ is referred by several interpre- 
ters to the Israelites, a remnant of whom, according to the frequent 
predictions of the prophets, (comp. Is. 10 : 21, 22, 11 : 11, 28: 5,) 
should repent and be preserved during the heavy judgments of God, 

88 ZECHARIAH 9: l-]0. 

which were coming upon them. But this reference is so distant, that 
the prophet, who had said nothing of this before, could not have ex- 
pected himself to be understood. The only correct one is, that to the 
lands mentioned before, Hadrach, Syria, Phoenicia. By these few 
words the prophet discloses the prospect of their future conversion. 
Parallel is chap. 14 : 9, " Then will the Lord be king over the whole 
earth." In the words : " and he will be as a prince of a tribe in 
Judah," the thought that the Philistines would hereafter be received 
among the covenant people, and enjoy equal privileges with them, is 
expressed as though their representative, their ideal head, should 
obtain the dignity of a prince in Judah. (See on f]i^^ at chap. 12: 
6.) A similar mode of representation prevails Matth. 2 : 6, where 
Bethlehem is called the least if jolg rj/ffioaiv 'lovSa, which, in like 
manner, can be explained only by supposing a personification of the 
city. — Much the same thought is expressed by the last member : 
" Ekron will be as the Jebusites." The Jebiisites, the ancient in- 
habitants of Jerusalem, had, until the time of David, dwelt at Jeru- 
salem with the Jews, who could not expel them. They were van- 
quished by David, and a remnant of them, after they had embraced 
the religion of the Israelities, was incorporated into the Theocracy. 
This appears from the example of Araunah the Jebusite, who, 
2 Sam. 24, 1 Chron. 21, dwelt among the covenant people as a 
respectable and wealthy man, and whose estate was destined by 
David for the site of the future temple. Others, as Rosenmiiller, 
after the example of Theodoret, prefer to understand by the Jebu- 
sites, the later inhabitants of the city Jebus, the Israelites. The 
sense would then be : The inhabitants of Ekron shall enter into the 
same relation to the Lord, as the inhabitants of Jerusalem ; the Phi- 
listines, at a future period, shall belong to the covenant people as well 
as the Israelites. But, not only is there no instance where the later 
inhabitants of Jerusalem are called Jebusites, but this designation, 
as Mark has already observed, is here entirely out of place, since it 
would not be honorable, as the context requires, but degrading. — 
Similar transitions from the representation of the judgments, which 
threatened the heathen nations, to the prediction of their future 
reception into the kingdom of God, for which all their humiliations 
are only preparatory, and which, as the termination of all the deal- 
ings of God, first place in their true light the preceding events, are 
elsewhere also not rarely found, comp. e. g. Is. 19 : 18, seq. 23 : 15, 
Jer. 12: 15, 16. 

ZECHARIAH 9:1-10. 89 

V. 8, " And I establish for ?nt/ house an encampment against the 
invading foe ; no oppression shall any more overcome them ; for now 

1 see toith mine eyes." njn with Sj; " to establish a camp against," 
with ^ "for any one, in order to his protection." The same figurative 
designation of protection is found, Ps. 34 : 8, and a similar one, chap, 

2 : 9, where the Lord promises, that he will be to Jerusalem like a 
wall of fire. " The house of the Lord " is the temple restored by 
Zerubbabel. nnv only a different orthography for N3S, host. This 
supposition is the more tenable, since also Is. 29 : 7, n^i*, militari, 
occurs for N3^, and it is therefore unnecessary, with Ch. B. Michaelis 
and Winer, to take nni^D as a noun, derived from !3^J, in the sense 
statio militum, which is opposed not only by the absence of the 
word elsewhere, but also by a much more important reason, the un- 
suitableness of the connexion with "'n\jn, in whatever way it may be 
understood, jp, in ^5^i•r^ and the two following words, may be under- 
stood in two ways, either yrom, since in njn the idea of deliverance 
and protection is included, or with Mark : " absque, ita ut non sit 
amplius," comp. the examples in Ewald, p. 599. The latter inter- 
pretation is favored by the occurrence of |p in this sense, chap. 7 : 14, 
in the phrase 3Kf?5l '^Si'b- These words are referred by several 
interpreters especially to the expeditions of the conquering nations 
against other states, particularly against the neighbouring Egypt, 
which in former times caused the Israelites much suffering. But 
the comparison of the other passages where the phrase occurs, Ezek. 
35 : 7, Zech. 7 : 14, shows, that it has a more general sense ; and 
signifies intercourse in general, which is here determined by the 
connexion to be of a hostile character. Appropriately Calvin : 
" Quamvis ergo totus mundus conspirtt ac coeant hinc inde magncB 
copicB hostium, jubet tamen tranquillo animo bene sperare, quoniam 
itnus deus sufficiet ad profiigandos omnes exercitus." nnj;, nunc, re- 
fers, not so well to the time when the prophecy was spoken, as to that 
of the fulfilment, when the Lord established his camp around his 
house. This is explained from the nature of prophecy, in which the 
future appears as present ; the determinations of time, therefore, re- 
late not to the actual, but to the ideal present. The phrase, " for 
now I see," &c., (comp. "•n^N"). njn, Jer. 7 : 11,) is spoken after the 
manner of men. When a friend sees the misfortune of a friend, 
he comes to his help. Hence in the Psalms, we frequently find the 
supplication, "behold my aflSiction," for, "deliver me from it." 

V. 9. " Rejoice greatly, thou daughter of Zion, shout for joy, 
VOL. II. 12 

90 ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 

thou daughter of Jerusalem. Sehold thy king comes to thee, he is 
just and protected of God, uffiicted and riding xipon an ass, and 
upon a foal the son of a she ass." We cannot better give the sense of 
the whole verse, than in the words of Calvin : " Summa est, vatici- 
nia, quibus spent redemtionis fccerat deus electo populo, non esse vana 
aut irrita, quoniam tandem suo tempore prodibit Christus, filius Da- 
vidis. Sccundo rcgem hunc fore justum et salvum, quia scilicet resti- 
tuet in ordinem, qum prius fcedo et pudendo modo erant confusa. 
Tertio acTjungit regem hunc fore pauperem, quia cquitabit super 
asinum et non pollebit magna emincntia, neque erit conspicuus vel 
armis, vel opibus, vel lautitiis, vel copia militari, vel etiam regiis 
insignibus, quae, perstringunt vidgi oculos." The preliminary ex- 
hortation to exulting joy intimates the importance of the sub- 
ject, and at the same time the greatness of the necessity, which 
should be satisfied with this gracious benefit of God. Cocceius has 
already reminded us, that the exhortation contains also a proph- 
ecy. The prophet had in view only the better part of the cove- 
nant people, the true members of the Theocracy, not the whole 
of the natural Israelites. On this account he gives prominence 
only to the joy and salvation, which the Messiah's Advent will 
bring. — The evangelists, who were concerned only with the sub- 
stance of the prophecy, have not verbally rendered this exhorta- 
tion to joy. Matthew has instead, from Is. 62 : 11 : sItiuts if] ^vya- 
rgl 2'icjv. John: fji] (fo(iov, dvyanq Slwv. Hin indicates, that the 
prophet sees the future king already present, and about to make his 
entrance into Jerusalem. " Thy king " with peculiar emphasis : "he, 
who alone in the complete and highest sense is thy king, so that all 
others scarcely deserve this name," comp. Ps. 45 : 72. The expres- 
sion at the same time shows, that the prophet speaks of a king gen- 
erally known from the former prophecies, and eagerly expected. ijS 
not merely " to thee," but also, " for thy benefit, for thy salvation ; " 
comp. Is. 9:5, "A child is born to us, a son is given to us." The 
prophet here exhibits only the blessings, which the Messiah should 
confer upon the believing portion of the covenant people, because 
his prophecy was chiefly, and in the first instance, designed for 
them. That the heathen to be received into the kingdom of God 
should also participate in these blessings appears from v. 7 and 10. 
xn; does not here refer, as Mai. 3 : 1, to the coming of the Messiah 
in glory for judgment, but, as the following epithets show, to his 
first appearance in obscurity. p^'^V, just, designates the first virtue 

ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 91 

of a king, and is therefore made particularly prortiinent in the proph- 
ecies where the Messiah appears as a king, as Ps. 45 : 72, Jer. 23 : 5, 
Is. 11:3-5. We cannot here, like many older interpreters, (see 
e. g. Mark in loco,) compare those passages where the righteousness 
of the Messiah, as a high priest, and at the same time as a sacri- 
fice for sin is spoken of, particularly Is. 53: 11, " He the righteous 
one, my servant, will make many righteous." This was seen by 
Calvin : " Ceternm nolo hie argutius disserere dejidci justitia. Po- 
tins enim existimo hac voce notari rectum ordincm, quum omnia essent 
tunc confusa in pojmlo." J'K'IJ has ever given much employment to 
the interpreters. The different views have been collected with 
great completeness by Meinhard, Messias Sahcdus Salvator, Wit- 
tenb. 1681, (see also Mark on the passage.) 1. The interpretation 
has been very widely diffused, which takes the jjartic. in Niph. as 
standing precisely for the partic. in Hiph. J7"'t?'i:3. (It is known that 
Kal never occurs.) Thus the Seventy, aa'Cav ; Jerome, aahutor ; 
Jonatli. Ti^^ii , servator ; likewise the Syriac : and Luther translates 
Tielpcr. Winer, Lex. s. v., conqueror. One of the chief defenders of 
this interpretation is Frischmuth, in the valuable Disscrtatio de Mts- 
siarege Sionis, Jena, 1678, reprinted in the Thesaui'us [ant.) Theol. 
Phil. t. I. p. 1061, sqq. But this view is certainly altogether unten- 
able. The assertion of several of its earlier defenders, that Niph. 
may stand precisely for Kal, needs now no further refutation. Only 
on one ground could it be sustained with any degree of plausibility. 
It is known, that the passive sense of Niph. frequently passes over 
into the reflexive, which may be readily occasioned by regarding 
merely the effect, without respect to the agent, Comp. the exam- 
ples of the reflexive in Ewald, p. 192. We might accordingly here 
give to V'^'^^ the meaning " to deliver himself" Thus Bauer has 
actually done, Schol. ad h. I. : scrvans se ipsum, h. e. servator. But 
the very manner in which the reflexive meaning originates, shows 
that Niph. as a reflexive form cannot always be employed, where we 
place himself. This even Ewald confesses, p. 192, although, in 
which he is certainly wrong, he regards the reflexive sense as the 
original. " If this pronoun has more emphasis than the idea con- 
veyed by the verb, the pro7i. rejlcxioum v^3J must be used ; e. g. ' to 
kill one's self can be expressed neither in Greek by the middle voice, 
nor in Hebrew by a reflexive form." In addition to this there is 
another ground. The reflexive sense, in general, is not found in all 
verbs. Hence, before it is applied in the interpretation of a doubt- 

92 ZECHARIAH 9 : 1 - 10. 

ful passage, the inquiry must always be made, whether it occurs 
elsewhere also ; and, if this is not the case, though the verb is often 
used, the application of the reflexive sense, if not absolutely inad- 
missible, is so at all events where the context does not imperatively 
require it. The verb >'^'^, however, occurs in Niph. not less than 
twenty times, and never in the reflexive, but always in the passive 
sense. Even the partic. is found in the latter sense, Ps. 33 : 16. 
Lastly, the prophet had no reason whatever to employ the part, in 
Niph. in an unusual sense, since had this been the case, .y'K/l'D was 
at his command, which occurs in more than thirty places. Cer- 
tainly the authority of the old translators is not in the least degree 
suited to outweigh these arguments. Their interpretation rested on 
the same ground as the opinion of so many recent interpreters, 
that i'K'i J is to be taken actively ; comp. e. g. Frischmuth on the 
passage : " Aperte liquet longe majorem IcBtitiam oriri, si rex ilk 
salvator appelletur, quam si ipsummet salvatum esse signijicetiir." 
It would scarcely have occurred, at least it would not have been so 
perseveringly held, unless interprete?s had believed, that the choice 
lay only between it and the following, the difficulties of which they 
perceived. 2. Numerous other interpreters take i>B'U correctly as 
passive, and, indeed, in the sense delivered. Thus e. g., among the 
Jews, Kimchi : " injustitia sua salvatus a gladio Gog ct 3Iagog.'^ 
Most Christian interpreters refer it to the deliverance of the Messiah 
from the severest sufferings by his resurrection and glorification. So, 
Calovius, Meinhard, Cocceius, S. Glassius, Ch. B. Michaelis, and, 
among the recent authors, Jahn. The sense, according to this inter- 
pretation, has been best developed by Glassius : {Phil. S. I. 1, tr. 1.) 
" Gaudio hide ohstare poterat miseria ilia atque humilitas, in qua 
tunc temporis salvator noster constitutus erat. Hoc igitur scandor 
Imn aversurus propheta verho passivo utitur I'tii ; h. e. rex venit 
Justus, humilis, pauper. Noli autem oh id animo concidere. Noli 
offendi exteriore schemate. Ecce enim salvatus est, h. e. ex hac pau' 
perie et misera conditione ad supremam gloriam ccelestem tarn certo 
tandem evehetur post hanc passionem et mortem, ac si jam salvatus ac 
glorijicatus esset," The objection raised against this interpretation 
by Mark, that it does not plainly enough express the destination of 
the Messiah to be for salvation and consolation to his people, which 
ought here to be expected, is unsatisfactory. He alleges, that with 
the deliverance of one's self, the ability to deliver others is not always 
connected ; the deliverance might indeed appertain only to the per- 

ZECHARIAH 9 : I - 10. 93 

son of the king. This objection has already been admirably refuted 
by Calvin : " Pendct utrumquc vcrbum ah illo, venturum regcm Sioni. 
Si veniret sihi privativi, csstt cticwi sibi Justus et servatus, h. e. utili- 
tasjustitia; et salutis rcsidcrct penes ipsum solum, vel in ejus persona. 
Sed quum aliorum respectu venerit, etiam in eorum gratiam et justi- 
tia et salute prccditus est." But it was not so easy to remove an- 
other objection. According to this interpretation, the predicate 
;?K'1J would refer only to the state of glorification. This, however, 
is entirely unsuitable, since the following predicates refer to the state 
of humiliation. 3. Others take i'li'U also as a passive, but not in 
the sense, delivered, but, sustained, endowed with salvation. So 
MiJnster ; " salute circumdatus, invictus, ubique salvatus ah insidia- 
torihus suis." De Dieu : " qurjn deus munit auxilio suo, ne pereat." 
Calvin : " Quatenus 7nissus est a patre, ut colligeret elcctum popu- 
lum, ita etiam vocatur incolumis, quoniam instructus est potentia ad 
salvandum." Similar also Mark, only that he erroneously asserts, 
that ;»B'U is here not a participle, but a nomen verbale adjectivum, a 
supposition, which is only so far correct as that the particip. when 
it does not stand as a predicate in the sentence, and is consequently 
treated and connected as a verb, approaches more nearly to the 
noun in Hebrew, since it never of itself conveys the idea of a defi- 
nite time, but equally comprehends all times ; comp. Ewald, p. 
538. This interpretation is fully confirmed by philology. Niph. 
occurs also elsewhere in the sense, " sustained with help, favor- 
ed with salvation." Thus Deut. 33 : 29, " Salvation to thee, O 
Israel, who is like unto thee ? m^n"'3 }.W): Up, a people which is 
clothed with salvation by the Lord, (nin'3 also in the passage 
before us is to be supplied,) thy helping shield, thy proud sword ; " 
see Is. 45 : 7 ; Jer. 23 : 6 ; Ps. 33 : 16. It is well known, that 
ymr\ often is used of the aid of God in general, not merely one 
particular deliverance. This interpretation gives a sense in the 
highest degree appropriate. Especially is the reason then evident 
of the connexion of D'^^ with ;'B'n. As righteousness and sal- 
vation are ascribed to the invisible head of the Theocracy, as the 
sum of those attributes whereby he makes his people happy, (comp. 
e. g. Is. 45 : 21, ^'B^i'D-i D'^^'Sx), so was it the highest glory of his 
visible representative to be clothed by him inwardly with righteous- 
ness, (comp. Ps. 72 : 1,) and outwardly with salvation, which flows 
forth from him to his subjects. In both respects the Messiah should 
be perfectly, what the best previous kings had been only very im- 

94 ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 

perfectly. What the defenders of the interpretation cited under 
No. 2, affirm to be the only sense of the word, is also included in 
it according to the interpretation which has just been given. The 
deliverance of the Messiah from death and his glorification is only 
one particulnr effect, one necessary consequence, of the divine aid 
which he enjoyed, and which accompanied him even in his deepest 
humiliation. Parallel is Is. 53 : 2, where it is said of the Messiah, 
he has grown up nT.ri''. "•JsS, viclente et adjuvante domino, (see on 
the passage ) 

While the first two predicates express that which was common to 
the great king of future times with the best of those who had reign- 
ed before, the two latter were designed to point out wherein he was 
characteristically different from them. 'J;^ is supposed by numerous 
interpreters to be synonymous with lij^, meek. Thus the Seventy, 
Tigavc, or TiQuog. Jon. |niJJ*, Syr. humilis. Also Kimchi, who 
compares Is. 42 : 2, and most other Jewish interpreters ; those, 
however, excepted, (which deserves attention, as suggesting the 
ground of this interpretation,) who, as R. Moses Hakkohen and 
Abenezra, do not refer the prophecy to the Messiah just because 
the predicate of lowliness, in their opinion, undeniably contained in 
'j;^, does not agree with him ; among the older Christian interpre- 
ters, Frischmuth, and lastly, the whole body of rationalists, comp. 
e. g. Gesen. and Winer, s. v. There can, however, be no doubt, 
that this interpretation is completely arbitrary. Among the numer- 
ous passages in which 'JJ'^ occurs, there is not one in which it can 
be said, even with any plausibility, that it has the sense of 1J>^ 
True, the Massorites have designated two passages as such, where 
IJI^ stands for 'J;', and two, where ''ij^ stands for ^3^^ But a closer 
examination of these shows at once, that this assertion is without 
foundation. Luther has translated. Num. 12 : 3, IJJ.^ by afflieted, as 
synonymous with "IV^. But this translation is now generally ac- 
knowledged erroneous, and originated only in the effort to rescue 
Moses from the appearance of boasting. It is the less necessary for 
us to bring forward all the proofs, since Gesenius and Winer, by 
citing in favor of this interpretation only this passage, silently con- 
fess that it is not sustained by a single example. It is true, that in 
Hebrew the subordinate idea of innocence and humility is connected 
(see on v. 2) with the idea of poverty and wretchedness ; but then 
the principal idea is never lost sight of; nowhere is a rich and 
powerful man called ""jir, and yet this is precisely what must be as- 

ZECHAllIAH 'J: 1-10. 95 

sumed in this passage.* It appears, therefore, since this interpre- 
tation is so entirely destitute of all support, and since, as we shall 
soon see, it is refuted also by the parallelism, that its origin and 
continued prevalence can be explained only from doctrinal pre- 
judice. The few Christian interpreters who approved it, among 
whom we must not reckon those, who, as Chrysostom, used only the 
Septuagint, would not have done so, if they had not been led astray 
by their prejudiced predecessors. The ground which Frisclimuth 
advances for his interpretation : " non paupcrtas, sed mansuctudo 
est causa Icetitioi," is done away by the remark, that each particular 
predicate need not have contained something which was a direct 
occasion for joy. It was sufficient if the prediction on the whole 
opened a rich source of joy. This could not be disturbed by the 
lowliness of the Messiah, since notwithstanding this the prophet, 
like Is. chap. 53, makes him extend his kingdom over the whole 
earth, and had already guarded against every stumblingblock by 
the foregoing ;?!^>1J. Calvin : "Si ergo Christus pauper est, non 
potest suos servare incolumes, ncque ctiam ipse fiortre- in regno suo. 
Unde sequitur instructum fore coelesti potentia, ut integer ipse ma- 
neat et prohibeat etiain omnes injurias ah ecclesia sua." How far a 
doctrinal interest has influenced the Jewish and rationalist inter- 
preters we shall hereafter see. Nor is poor, by which, after Jerome 
and Symmachus, many other interpreters translate "'J;^, entirely cor- 
rect, ^ip is of wider import ; it signifies the whole of the low, 
miserable, suffering condition of the Messiah, as it is more fully 
described, Is. 53 : 2, 3. — The second predicate, riding on an ass., is 
taken by many interpreters as a designation of an humble, peaceful 
king. So Chrysostom, merely, however, because he was influenced 
by the Alexandrine version of 'J;^, and so compelled here to find 

* Very appositely Hulsius, Theol. Jud. p. 163 : " Sane agnoscitnus paupertatis 
et humilitatis qualitates, sicut utriusque vocabula in Hebrceo admodum vicina 
sunt, sic quoque necessitatis vinculo connexas in eodem subjecto concurrere, 
adeo ut si non proprie, saltern non inepte LXX. 'J); reddiderint per -pr^Sos s. 
iTjaiSj (whence the retaining of this translation by Matthew is explained, for 
whose purpose an accurate discrimination was not important). Velle tamen 
vocabulorum significationes inter se confundere, ita ut ij;?^ proprie pauper, 
hie tantum improprie notet humilem, et quidem cum omnimoda paupertatis 
exclusione, illud non concedimus, neque vocis ij^r natura hoc patitur, quae 
non virtute humilem (id enim ij;? significat) sed conditioite humilem, h. e. 
pauperem, oppressum, abjectae sortis hominem denotat;" comp. Cellarius, De 
Gemino Jud. Messia, § 13, 14. 

96 ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 

something corresponding to ngavg : Ov^] ligfiara ilavvbiv wg ol Xomol 
ffaadelg, ov cpogovg anairav, ov ao^wv kuI dogvqiOQovg nfQidywv, alXu 
noXXijV xi]V inuUiiav yMvriv&iv inidsiy.vvfiBvog. {Opp. ed. Francof. 
t. I. N. T. p. 718.) Kimchi: " Insidens super asino, non prcB 
inopia, quia totus viundus in potestate ejus est, sed pra mansuetudine 
sedebit super asino." Generally all those Jewish interpreters who 
adopt the Messianic interpretation, and with them Frischmuth. Gro- 
tius : " 7c? 7ion tantum signijicabat modestiam ipsius, sed et pads 
studiiim ; nam bello armantur cqui ; asinus pacis animal." Like- 
wise all rationalists, without exception, whom Jahn also in contra- 
diction to himself, since he gives the true meaning of \Jj;, has been 
induced to follow. In favor of this interpretation, it has been urged, 
that the ass in the East is altogether a different animal from what he 
is with us; that in the Scripture even the most eminent men appear 
as riding on asses, and that this is still the case, according to the tes- 
timony of travellers. But it is evident from the following reasons, 
that this interpretation is inadmissible, and that riding on an ass 
signifies rather the low condition of the king. (Calvin : " Quasi 
diceref, regem, de quo loquitur, non fore magnijico ct splcndido ap- 
paratu insigncm, ut solent esse terreni principes, sed quasi sordido 
habitu, aid saltern vulgari, ut nihil diffcrat a plebejo quopiam ct 
ignobili.") 1. This view is favored by the very connexion in which 
"•J^ stands. Mark very justly observes : " Alter hujus regis charac- 
ter externus est specialis, ex priori generali Jluens." If now the 
translation of 'J;; by 7neck is inadmissible, then riding on an ass can- 
not designate one particular manifestation of humility and meekness, 
but rather that of lowliness and inferiority. 2. It is indeed true, 
that the ass in the East is of a nobler nature, and therefore more 
esteemed than with us. But still he ever remains an ass, and can- 
not rise to the dignity of a horse. Since the appearance of Michae- 
lis's History of the Horse and of the breeding of Horses in Palestine, 
(hinter Th. 3, von d. Mos. R.) it has no longer been customary to 
appeal to the passages of Scripture, in which distinguished persons 
appear as riding upon asses. During the dominion of the Judges 
the horse had not yet been brought into use among the Israelites, 
therefore even men of rank made use of the ass for riding. With 
the rise of the regal dominion, first mules and then horses came into 
use. From this period, particularly from the reign of Solomon, we 
no longer find even a single example of a royal, or, in general, of a 
very eminent person riding on an ass. And yet examples of this 

ZECHARIAH 9:1-10. 97 

date would alone be of importance in the present instance. With 
respect to the accounts of recent travellers, it is to be considered, 
that they generally speak of the ass only relatively with reference 
to the extreme contempt in which he is held by us. When they 
relate, that in the East even distinguished women are accustomed 
to use him, nothing can be inferred in reference to this passage ; 
that there is another reason for -this than the nobleness of the ass, 
is evident from the fact, that this also happens among us, notwith- 
standing he is the object of the greatest contempt ; that even the 
higher officers in particular regions of the East, according to Char- 
din's account of the lawyers in Persia, make use of the ass for rid- 
ing, can only prove that this practice is not there, as with us, ridicu- 
lous. It is explained by the circumstance, that the ass in the East 
runs tolerably fast, is better suited than the horse for riding, es- 
pecially on the mountains, on account of his being mo-re surefooted, 
and moreover is easily kept, and with very little expense. Of a 
king who generally rode upon an ass, our accounts of the Oriental 
ass, which are particularly full (comp. the proofs e. g. in Jahn, 
Arch. 1, p. 275 seq. in the Goth. bibl. Encycl. and in Winer's Re- 
allex. s. v.), do not afford a single example; nor an instance where 
a magistrate of a higher order mounted an ass on a solemn occa- 
sion, though here it is to be well observed, that riding on the ass is 
predicated of the king, as king. On the contrary, proofs are not 
wanting, that the ass in the East also shares in a measure in the 
contempt, in which his more unfortunate brother in the West is 
held. The very etymology of jinx, laziness, (comp. Ges. Thes. s. v.) 
expresses this contempt. A proof drawn from the most ancient time 
is furnished by Gen. 49 : 13. When Issachar is there called " an 
ass," the tertium comparationis, as the context shows, is plainly, not 
merely strength of bones, but likewise that laziness, which will not 
suffer its repose to be disturbed at any price, and patiently endures 
whatever burden is imposed upon it. Still more provokingly is the 
honor of the ass attacked by Jesus, the son of Sirach, chap. 23 : 25, 
" To the ass belongs his fodder, whip, and burden." Mohammed says, 
" The voice of the ass is the most abominable of all, yea it is the 
voice of the Devil," (comp. Herbelot, Bibl. Or. s. v. Hemor.) The 
ancient Egyptians asserted, that the evil god, Typhon, was like an 
ass, and that this animal was peculiarly agreeable to him, (Jablons- 
hy, Pantheon jEg. III. 45.) That Christians and Jews in Egypt, 
by way of degradation, are confined to the use of the ass, while the 

VOL. II. 13 

98 ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 

horse is reserved only for the Mahommedans, is well known. Thg 
extravagance of the prevailing view of the Oriental dignity of the ass, 
appears especially from King Sapor's mockery of the Messiah of 
the Jews riding on the ass, comp. Sanhedrin XI. fol. 98 : " Dixit 
rex Sopores Rab. Samueli : Dicitis Messiam super asino venturtim. 
Ego mitiam isti cqnum splendidum, qtiem habeo." — Finally, an ob- 
servation of Mark is worthy of attention : " Multum differt asinus 
prcestans, insessioni asmetus, atque decenti ephippio et ornamentis 
instructus pretiosis, a qualicunque vili et indomito^" &c. But, 
should any doubt remain respecting the import of riding on the 
ass, it must surely vanish, when we look at the fulfilment. We can 
scarcely conceive of any thing more humble, than the entrance of 
Christ into Jerusalem. The city, into which David and Solomon 
had so often rode on mules or horses splendidly adorned, attended 
by a multitude of proud horsemen, the Lord entered on a borrowed 
ass, which had never yet been rode ; the poor garments of his dis- 
ciples supplied the place of the usual covering ; his train consisted 
of those, who were regarded by the world as the people and rabble. 
In every feature of the symbolic action is manifested the design of 
the Lord to represent his kingdom as destitute of all worldly splen- 
dor, as poor and lovviy ; so that Heumann on John 12 : 15, justly 
remarks : " This deed of the Lord can be regarded as an ironia 
realis, whereby the false imagination of the Jews respecting the 
Messiah's kingdom was derided." 

The two members, " he rides on an ass," and " on a young ass, 
z, foal of the she asses," sustain to each other the relation of a cli- 
max. It is a great sign of poverty and abasement when a king 
rides on an ass, in general ; but it is a far greater one, when the 
animal is young and has never yet been rode. This interpretation 
is plainly grounded in the words. Without it the last proposition 
has no meaning. Vau often stands in climaxes, e. g. 1 Kings 8 : 27. 
" Behold the heaven, and the heaven of heavens, contain thee not." 
Prov. 6 : 16. " Six things and seven," for, yea seven ; comp. other 
examples in Ewald, p. 654 ; Winer s. v. 'yy_, signifies of itself a 
young ass. Partly, however, because the word had gradually come 
to be used in a more general sense, partly because the youth of the 
animal was here especially to be brought into view, the prophet still 
subjoins nijh«~J3- The plur. ni'JnN has here led to strange inter- 
pretations. That of Michaelis, Bauer, and Jahn, borders on the 
ridiculous, according to which, '* a foal of the she asses," signifies, 

ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 99 

" a foal of a good stock," whose mother is known for some generations 
back ! Of the genealogy of asses hitherto, at least, no trace has been 
found ; but, were it otherwise, and could it at the same time be 
shown that regard was paid not to the male, but only to the female 
ancestors, still this sense would be directly opposed to the design of 
the passage, which is to represent the lowly condition of the king. 
Others, as Grotius and Ammon : " non mulo, sed asino vectus, tarn 
ex patre quam ex matre," as though "non and "VV^ did not entirely 
exclude the mule, and as though the |1/N no less designated the 
male than the female ass. The plural is not seldom placed where 
only one undetermined individual, out of a multitude, is meant, and 
where it is not important to be more definite ; comp. Ewald, p. 584. 
Thus e. g. Gen. 21 : 7, " who would have said to Abraham, Sarah 
gives suck to sons," D'jn. Sarah had only one son, the number 
however of her children was not here important, but only the fact 
of her becoming fruitful, and this was rendered the more striking 
by the use of the plural. Completely analogous, however, is the 
frequently occurring "'P^STl^ Jilius bourn, for vitulus bovinus, also 
y^:i |.5 h)X and "ip;3 |3 ns. Likewise ninx. -I'p?, Judges 14 : 5. 
In the passage before us only the relation was considered, not the 
other- exponent of this relation ; this, therefore, could be indefinitely 
and generally designated. The comparison of "^pprj? shows, that 
by mjnN-|3 an ass is designated, whose relation to his mother was 
the most important thing to be considered. For the same reason as 
here, viz. in order the more strongly to express the mean condition 
of the king, by the Evangelists, also, the youth of the ass is carefully 
exhibited. John : ovdoiov : Mark 11 : 12, nwXov, ecp ov ovdslt; uv&ga- 
TiMV xsxd&ixs. Luke 19 : 30, icp oV ovdslg nomoTS av&QcancDV ixd&tas, 
That there must be a reason for this, interpreters have always per- 
ceived. In discovering it, however, they have not, for the most 
part, been very successful. Justin and several later fathers, whom 
Paulus is strangely inclined to follow, found in the she ass a type of 
the Jewish people ; in the ass, which had not been rode, a symbol 
of the heathen. More plausibly Bengel, after Bochart and others : 
"Integra sint oportet a miasmafis corporum peccaminosorum, qucB 
Chrisio inserviunt." But, besides that this feature would not here 
be suitable, where every thing points to the extreme humiliation of 
the king, this reference must be rejected, because it disregards the 
passage of Zechariah, which the Lord so plainly had in view during 
the whole transaction. According to the general opinion of the 

1 00 ZECH ARIAH 9 : 1 - 10. 

older and later interpreters, vau has here the sense of namely, and 
therefore in both members one and the same ass is spoken of. This 
meaning might, if necessary, be justified on grammatical principles ; 
for, although vau never occurs precisely in the sense namely, (see 
Evv. 1. c.)yet, in many instances, though retaining its ordinary mean- 
ing, it can be translated by et quidem. Still, however, this interpreta- 
tion would never have arisen, if interpreters, proceeding on the sup- 
position that the passage relates immediately and exclusively to the 
entrance of Christ into Jerusalem, and observing that only one ass 
is mentioned by three of the Evangelists, had not feared that proph- 
ecy and fulfilment might be involved in contradiction. The former 
supposition, however, is plainly erroneous. The riding on the ass, 
is here, in the first instance, a mere individualization of the forego- 
ing 'J;'^. If nov/, it were a bare synonymous parallelism, the sup- 
position, that, in both members, one and the same ass is spoken of 
would be utterly untenable. When it is said, Gen. 49 : 11, of Ju- 
dah, " He binds his ass to the vine, the foal of his she ass to the 
choice vine, he washes his garment in wine, his dress in the blood 
of grapes"; who would not regard as ridiculous the assertion, that 
"the ass" and "the ass's foal" are the same individual, "the 
vine" and "the choice vine" one and the same, " the blood of 
grapes " and " the wine " the same portion of wine, " garment " 
and "dress" one and the same piece of clothing. But this suppo- 
sition must appear the more inadmissible in this passage, since, as 
we have shown, it contains a climax ; as the prophet first designates 
the low condition of the Messiah, by his riding either on an ass in 
general, or on a full-grown ass, and then more strongly by his riding 
on a young one, which had never been rode ; and to this must be 
added, that the repetition of Sj; does not accord with the supposition 
that the vau is exegetical. It can scarcely be denied, that the Lord 
himself has confirmed our view by the manner in which the symbolic 
action was performed, which should, as it were, embody the figura- 
tive representation of Zechariah. It cannot otherwise be explained 
why he commanded, according to Matthew, that not only the young 
ass, but also the she ass should be brought. He could mount only 
one of the two animals. For the change, as Bochart has already 
remarked, (Hieroz. 2 : 17,) would have been unbecoming in so 
short a distance. He chose the young ass, because in Zechariah 
this was the symbol of the deepest humiliation. The she ass, how- 
ever must accompany it, in order fully to represent the image of 

ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 101 

Zechariah, and to make visible the climax, which he had employed. 
That the she ass made a necessary part of the symbolic action, and 
was not taken along for some subordinate object, — that the foal 
might the more readily follow, as most interpreters suppose, — is 
evident from the words of Matthew, v. 7 : ""Hynyov ti]v ovov xov 
nwXov, Kol i7ii&i]xav inuva avjwv tot ifidna avxwv aal eTtsxu&tasv inavbi 
aiiruv. Otherwise, even were we to refer the second avTwv to the 
garments, (Theophylact : ov^i twv 8vo vno^vylmv, uXltk tuv Ifiariwv,) 
an interpretation which could have arisen only from embarrassment, 
still the first airoiv would remain inexplicable. The usual expedi- 
ent that the p/wr. stands for the sing., is scarcely tenable. In sup- 
port of it, examples are appealed to like those cited at p. 99. But 
these are not to the purpose ; there the plur. is used, because a more 
accurate determination of the particular subject was unimportant; 
and for this usage not a few examples can be cited from the New 
Testament also, (comp. Winer, Gramm. p. 149.) Here, on the con- 
trary, it was in the highest degree necessary to be definite, if the 
Evangelist wished to express that the Lord rode only on the foal. 
The use of the plural can, therefore, have no other object, than to 
show that both animals were destined for the use of the Lord ; so 
that with the one, the other also, as it were, was covered with gar- 
ments and mounted. That the other Evangelists do not indeed men- 
tion the she ass can prove nothing. John narrates, in general, with 
extreme brevity, and omits all subordinate circumstances. He pre- 
supposes the facts to be known, and only subjoins the remark, that 
the reference of the symbolic action to the Old Testament prophe- 
cy, was first made clear to the disciples after the glorification of the 
Lord. Mark and Luke entirely omit the reference to the prophecy, 
which Matthew, in accordance with the object, and uniform charac- 
ter of his Gospel, (comp. Hug, Einl. 2, p. 7 sqq., ed. 2,) renders 
especially prominent. Under these circumstances the mention of 
the she ass would have been inappropriate ; since the design of her 
accompanying the foal would be evident only from the reference to 
the prophecy ; far more important was it to extol the wonderful cir- 
cumstances with which the event was attended. 

V. 10. " And I abolish the chariots from Ephraim, and the horses 
from Jerusalem, and the battle-boiv shall cease ; and he speaks peace 
to the nations, and his dominion extends from sea to sea, from the 
Euphrates to the ends of the earth." The prophet proceeds to give 
the characteristic difference of the Messianic from all worldly king- 

1 02 ZECHARIAH 9 : 1 - 10. 

doms, and especially from the former Theocracy ; whether with 
special reference to the carnal conceptions of his contemporaries is 
uncertain. While earthly kingdoms are upheld and extended only 
by the power of arms, while even the Theocracy formerly employed 
them, it shall in the time of the Messiah, be deprived of every ex- 
ternal weapon, since it will need them no more, because its head, 
the Prince of Peace, by his bare word extends peace over the whole 
earth, which willingly and joyfully submits to him. The words, 
" I abolish, — battle-bow," have been by many interpreters entirely 
misunderstood. By those, e. g. who, after Theodoret, (IfclwAd^^Ei/aav 
aqfJiUTU a EcpQoil'fi xctl Xnnov «| IsQovaalrjfx, Tr)v &Qaavj7]Ta aviav xal 
TTjv [lanxijv xaTaXvaag ^aadetav), and Eusebius, {TavTu yuQ tisqI Trjg 
xa&aiQSUSojg jijg ^aaikixrjg u^lag tov lovduiwv t&vovg id^eanlQixo,^ find 
in these words a prediction of the political extinction of the cove- 
nant people by the Romans. In like manner, by those who, as Gro- 
tius, after the Chald. : " Cotiteram facienth hella et casira populo- 
rum," and the Seventy, (E^oko&Qsv&i^asiai ro^ov ttoXs/xhiop xai nXij&og 
xal slgi^vi] £| i&vuv,) are reminded of hostile chariots and cavalry, 
and explain the phrase, "to abolish out of Ephraim," &.C., by " to 
make harmless for," &c. What follows, where the kingdom of the 
Messiah is designated as a kingdom of peace, shows, that, by the 
abolition of the war-chariots, &lc., the entire uselessness of every 
external weapon is signified. This explanation is confirmed also by 
the parallel passages. Entirely analogous is Is. 2 : 4, Mich. 4 : 3, 
" Then will the Lord be a judge between the people, and rebuke 
many nations ; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and 
their spears into pruning-hooks ; no people will lift up the sword 
against another, they will learn war no more." This passage is 
also so far explanatory of the one before us, as that there the reason 
of the destruction of all warlike apparatus precedes, and therefore 
can the less be mistaken, while here it follows. Further, Hosea 
2 : 20, " I make for them a covenant with the wild beasts," &c., 
" and will abolish bow and sword and war, out of the land, >and 
cause them to dwell securely." Likewise, Is. 9 : 4, (comp. Vol. I. 
p. 356.) Similar for the most part, according to the words, is Mic. 
5 : 9, and was probably present to the mind of Zechariah : 'neverthe- 
less, according to the sense, it so far differs, as that there the ex- 
tinction of the warlike apparatus is predicted with a special regard 
to the sinful confidence placed upon it by the covenant people. — 
That no argument against the genuineness of the second part can 

ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 103 

be derived from the connexion of Judah and Ephraim, has already 
been shown in the Bcitrdge, 1, p. 377. — The subject in "i^ni. is 
the king. The verb is here emphatic. What worldly kings effect 
by the power of arms, he accomplishes by his bare word ; comp. Ps. 
148 : 5, .33 : 9, and especially, Is. 11 : 4, (comp. Vol. I. 379.) The 
emphasis arises from the character of the person who speaks. The 
expression, S DiSty i3n, occurs besides only in Esth. 10 : 3, accord- 
ing to the right interpretation, of the settling of controversies. 
Comp., respecting peace as a characteristic mark of the Messiah's 
time. Volume I. p. 295. The last part of the verse, " and his do- 
minion," &c., has suffered various false interpretations. Abenezra 
explains : " A nim'i, scil. australi, quod vacatur Sodomamm, usque 
ad mare scptentrionah , h. e. usque ad Oceanum, et a fluvio, h. e. 
Euphrate, ubi est principium Orientis, usque ad extrema terrcs." 
Calvin : " A mart rubra usque ad mare Syriacum." Eichhorn : 
" He reigns from one sea to the other, from the (great) river to the 
end of the land. Israel's kingdom receives through Jehovah its 
greatest extension ; from the Dead to the Mediterranean Sea ; from 
the Euphrates to the deserts of Arabia." In like manner, Ecker- 
mann, Bauer, Kuinol, and, for reasons easily to be conjectured, most 
o<her rationalist and rationalizing interpreters ; but in opposition to 
this explanation we offer the following arguments, which in part ap- 
ply also to that of Abenezra. 1. ]n.?:{.-'Di?5< never occurs of the boun- 
daries of the Jewish kingdom, but always stands for the extreme 
limits of the whole earth, (comp. Vol. I. p. 81.) 2. As, therefore, in the 
second member the terminus ad quem is, in general, the widest pos- 
sible, so in the second member, it cannot lie within the bounds of 
Palestine. The second d; must rather designate the most distant 
sea. 3. As the whole sentence is repeated verbatim, Ps. 72 : 8, 
and Zechariah must therefore have had that passage in view, we 
are fully justified in making use of it in the interpretation. There, 
however, according to the following context, not merely Palestine, 
but the whole earth, with all its people and lands, shall be subject to 
the king, (Vol. I. 102.) 4. To understand by D; n;: D;p " from the 
Dead or from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean," is inadmissible 
on grammatical grounds alone. It is indeed true, that the article is 
often omitted in poetry, even when a definite noun is the subject of 
discourse ; comp. Ges. Lehrg. p. 652 ; Ewald, p. 568. But this hap- 
pens only in cases where the definite noun may be sufficiently 
known as such without the article. An example is readily furnished 

104 ZECHARIAH 9: 1-10. 

by inj. This cannot signify any river at pleasure ; every one sees 
at once that it can be referred only to the Euphrates. This was 
called "'njn, the river x«r e^o^ifv. This appellative appellation was 
sometimes in poetry regarded as a proper name, and only in this 
way could the article be omitted ; corap. Ewald, p. 569 ; Jer. 2 : 18, 
Is. 7 : 20, Mic. 7 : 12. So also must the first D;, if it is to stand 
for a definite sea, designate one, which, in the prevailing usage, 
appears as the sea xaz f^oxnv. This, however, is neither the Red 
nor the Dead Sea, which never occur without a more particular 
designation, but only the Mediterranean, which frequently occurs 
as vnjn □■^n, or barely D'/i, (comp. Ges. and Win. s. v.) 5. There 
is a plain reference to the passages where the boundaries of the 
former Theocracy are given ; the author takes two of the limits 
there given, and then, instead of the opposite ones, he subjoins two 
others far more extensive, and coinciding with the bounds of the 
earth, (Vol. I. 102.) If now we compare these passages, (Ex. 
23 : 31 ; Gen. 15 : 18; Deut. 11 : 24 ; Josh. 1 : 4 ; 2 Kings 5 : 1,) 
it appears that in them the Euphrates is uniformly mentioned as the 
one boundary, the Mediterranean Sea as the other. In one instance 
only the Arabian gulf occurs in connexion with the latter. Even 
for this reason the Mediterranean Sea alone can be understood by 
the first d;. Finally, to this must be added, that also in the parallel 
passages, Mic. 7: 12, Amos 8: 12, the phrase, " from sea to sea," 
occurs in the sense " over the whole earth," so far as it is surround- 
ed by seas. 

The history of the interpretation of v. 9, 10, is of peculiar interest. 
This might naturally be expected on an attentive consideration of 
the contents of the prophecy. The more pointedly, when rightly 
understood, it contradicts, as well the Jewish as the Rationalist 
conceptions of the Messiah, the more clearly must the doctrinal 
prejudice of the enemies of revelation manifest itself in the history 
of its interpretation. This histery must, therefore, possess not 
merely a literary, but a no less psychological interest, and at the 
same time give an indirect testimony for the truth, whose defenders 
need not the art of its opposers, but may simply declare what ap- 
pears on the right application of the proper aids to be the sense of 
each particular passage. 

ZECHARIAH 9 : 1 - 10. 1 05 

Among the Jews, as far back as history extends, the Messianic 
interpretation was the prevailing one. This is proved by the nu- 
merous passages from the Talmud, and other old Jewish writings 
collected among others by Bochart, Hieroz. p. 214, Lightfoot, 
Schottgen, Wetstein on Matth. chap. 21. The groundless suspicion 
of Paulus (Comment, z. N. T. 3, p. 113), that this may have been 
introduced after the time of Christ, is refuted by the remark, that 
the later prevalence of the Messianic interpretation of a passage, 
which so directly contradicted the Jewish doctrine of the Messiah, 
and furnished the Christian polemic with so powerful a weapon, 
can be explained only by the supposition, that it was sanctioned by 
tradition derived from the highest antiquity. To this we must add, 
that the close relation of the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem to 
this passage, imperatively requires us to suppose, that in his time it 
was referred to the Messiah. For otherwise it is scarcely conceiva- 
ble what could have been the object in making the symbolic action 
in its minutest circumstances refer to the prophecy. Theodoret, 
indeed, asserts, that the Jews of his time explained the prophecy of 
Zerubbabel, CEyco ds xav 'lovdaiav ti)v siA^govrrjaiav &aviJ.u^(>), sig tov 
ZoQo(3u^sk javTTjv Uuv avaiaxvvTCig iicXa^^dvsiv ToXfirnvrmv.) But, as 
there is not the slightest trace of such an interpretation in the Jew- 
ish writings themselves, and as no one of the later non-Messianic 
interpreters ever hit upon Zerubbabel, who seems always to have 
been considered as entirely excluded by the future XT, it is highly 
probable that Theodoret had no historical knowledge of such an 
interpretation, but conjectured its existence only from the analogy 
of other prophecies. 

The prophecy, however, when referred to the Messiah and cor- 
rectly explained, must have caused the Jews great inconvenience. 
Independently of the fulfilment, it was not easy to reconcile this pas- 
sage, merely in itself considered, with others in which the Messiah 
is represented in glory, nor even the predicate, " poor and riding on 
an ass," in this, prophecy itself, with the others contained in it. The 
history of the Redeemer alone completely removes this difficulty. 
" Sa personne sacrie," remarks Calmet, " nous fournit tout d lafois 
ce qu'il y a de plus grand, de plus divin, de plus magnifique, de 
plus fort, allie sans confusion et sans contradiction avec ce qu'il y a 
de plus humble, de plus doux, de plus pauvre, de plus afflige, de plus 
foible. U n'y a que la religion Chretienne, qui sache concilier des 
extremitez, qui paroissent si contraires et si opposees." That this 

VOL. II, 14 

1 06 ZECHARIAH 9 : 1 - 10. 

difficulty very early perplexed the Jews, is shown by an attempt at 
explanation, which is found in the Talmud Sanhedrin, chap. 11 : 
" Rabbi Josue filius Levi objecit : scriptum est de Messia, Dan. 
7 : 13. Et ecce cum nubibus cceli sicut Jilius Iwminis venit. At 
Sack. 9:9, de eodem scriptum est, pauper et insidens asino. Resp. 
si Israelites digni sunt, veniet cum nubibus cceli, si non sunt digni, 
veniet pauper et asino insidens." In this explanation, not only is 
the Messianic interpretation retained, but the words are taken in 
their natural sense. Still this interpretation could scarcely be ex- 
pected to meet with general acceptance in respect to this difficulty 
only. It would have been plausible only in case the Messianic 
passages had been so distinct, that the one contained merely the pre- 
diction of an obscure, the other merely that of a glorious Messiah. 
This is however by no means the case, as even the example of this 
passage sufficiently shows. He who is designated as " poor and 
riding on an ass," appears at the same time as king, as peculiarly 
favored of God, as ruler of the whole earth. For this reason the 
expedient of distinguishing between the Messiah Ben Joseph, and 
the Messiah Ben David, (Vol. I. p. 210,) whereby other passages 
which predicted a Messiah in lowliness were evaded, was here inap- 
plicable, although, according to the testimony of Abenezra, it was 
not the less resorted to by some. There was still another reason, 
which exerted a more powerful influence than this difficulty. In 
consequence of the carnal nature of the Messianic hopes of the 
Jews, which was constantly becoming more striking by the contrast 
with Christianity, to most of them the thought was insupportable, 
that the Messiah should appear even conditionally in humiliation. 
Under these circumstances there remained for them only two alter- 
natives. They must either reject the reference to the Messiah, or 
seek to remove the stumblingblock by interpretation. " JFeris enim 
similes sunt," remarks Hulsius, Theol. Jud. p. 162, '' isti Jwmines, 
qui venatorum retia devitant, quantum possunt, ubi vero se irrctitas 
senserint, conantur eluctari." It was natural, that comparatively 
few should take the former course ; the Messianic interpretation had 
the authority of tradition in its favor, and was at the same time 
sanctioned by the Talmud. While Ti^'^^^ and j-'ivi J , in v. 9, and the 
whole contents of the tenth verse presented such pleasing prospects, 
that many could with difficulty prevail upon themselves to regard 
the prophecy as having been already fulfilled. There was, more- 
over, the difficulty of making the non-Messianic interpretation har- 

ZECHARI AH 9:1-10. 107 

monize with the time in which Zechariah lived. In the case of 
the prophets who lived before the exile, there were subjects, as 
Hezekiah for example, to which the Messianic prophecies which 
occasioned perplexity, might, though not without violence, be re- 
ferred. Zechariah, however, prophesied during the second temple, 
when the kingdom had long been extinct ; among the leaders of the 
Jews in this later period, there was no one to whom the contents of 
the tenth verse could be plausibly referred, even by the aid of a 
forced interpretation, and the assumption of a grotesque hyperbole. 
Nevertheless there were at least two interpreters who ventured to bid 
defiance to these hindrances, because they appeared to them still 
less than the intolerable, " poor and riding on an ass," which not 
only threatened to destroy their whole theology, but was also revolt- 
ing to their hearts, while the non-Messianic interpretation only vio- 
lated their understanding, and their sense of exegeticat propriety. 
Rabbi Moses Hakkohen, according toAbenezra, referred the proph- 
ecy to Nehemiah. He is called, Neh. 6 : 6, 7, " King of Judah"; 
he was poor and rode upon an ass, because he possessed no horse. 
Abenezra refuted him by the remark, that, in the cited passage, the 
title of king was attributed to him only in the way of reproach by 
his enemies ; he never wished himself to be any other than a Per- 
sian stadtholder. To his great riches, history bears testimony. 
Abenezra himself, however, just as widely errs. " Mca sententia" 
he says, " Judajilius Chasmoncei regis nomine intelligitur, quifortis 
fuit. Atqite initio neqne dives erat, neque equo instructus." Bo- 
chart 1. c. has given himself much trouble ingeniously and learnedly 
to refute this explanation. The best refutation, however, is found 
in Abarbanel : " Demiror, 7nalam intentionem oculos intelkctus ejus 
ita excoecasse." 

Far more numerous, on the contrary, were tbose, who, retaining 
the Messianic interpretation, sought to remove the grounds of offence 
by exegesis, and cover as well as they could the supposed nakedness 
of the Messiah. (Athanasius makes the heathen say in mockery : 
'O diog xav XQiaxiavwv, y.aXovfifvo^- Xqiotus, ng ovdgiov ixd&ias. Ac- 
cording to TertuUian, the Christians were called by the Romans, 
asinarii; comp. also the ridicule of King Sapor mentioned on p. 98.) 
The latter was sought to be accomplished in a ridiculous manner by 
those, who asserted, that the ass upon which the Messiah will ride, 
is a son of the she ass, which had been made within the six days of 
creation, and the same on which Abraham rode, when he went to 

1 08 ZECHARIAH 9 : 1 - 10. 

offer up Isaac, and Moses when he went down into Egypt ; comp. 
the Jalkut Ruheni in Schottgen 1. c. and other passages from the 
Jalkut Schimeoni, the Pirke R. Elieser and Jarchi in Eisenmenger 
II. p. 697, whose ridicule of the obstinacy of this ass, will not in- 
deed be found entirely just by him, who remembers the Jewish 
doctrine of the migration of souls, which lies at the foundation of 
this fable. The R. Samuel in the Tract Sanhcdrin 1. c. refutes 
the ridicule of King Sapor by the remark, that the ass of the Mes- 
siah will have a hundred colors ! Those proceed more ingeniously, 
who, as the Seventy and the Chald. Paraphrast, take 'J;^ as a desig- 
nation of humility, and the riding on the ass as its sign. So R. 
Saadias Haggaon on Dan. 7 : 13 : D^DiD Sj' X3^ sS O XU^^ X2^ xSn 
mNJ3, " He will come in humility, not on horses in pride." So 
Kimchi, Jarchi, (who betrays his evil conscience by skipping over 
■•j;? as quick as possible, with the hasty remark, this nu;? mo is a 
sign of humility,) Abarbanel, and others. 

It is self-evident, that the reference of the prophecy to the histori- 
cal Christ exclusively prevailed in the Christian church, until the rise 
of Deism and Rationalism. The only exception was made by Gro- 
tius, whose assertion, that the prophecy referred only in a higher 
sense to Christ, but properly and directly to Zerubbabel, excited 
general opposition, and called forth a multitude of refutations. The 
first of these was that of Bochart, who left indeed no great gleanings 
for his successors. Here also the mala intentio was very manifest, 
(see on the causes of his errors in the interpretation of the Messianic 
prophecies, Vol. I. p. 261 ;) his very hesitation (he supposes on Matth. 
21, the passage could be referred also to Judas Mace, or some 
other person,) shows, that he aimed to set aside at any price the 
reference to the Messiah, against which he does not bring a single 
argument. But stUl more clearly does this appear from the violent 
operations, which he, an interpreter of fine exegetical tact, employs? 
for this purpose. He explains K3; by " he has come," and refers it 
to the return of Zerubbabel from Babylon, which happened long 
before the time of the prophecy. He affirms, in opposition to the 
testimony of history, that Zerubbabel, if not in name, yet in reality, 
was a king, and slily appeals to Jer. 23 : 5; Ez. 37 : 22, 24, as pas- 
sages where he is called king, in like manner as here without even 
intimating that such is the case only according to his own Traosofitj- 
vtia, arising from the same mala intentio ; pn^, he dilutes by the 
explanation, i. e. cequus, q>d6nat§ig, non tyrannus. The perversion 

ZECHARIAH 9 : 1 - 10. 1 09 

of" poor " and " riding on an ass," as being self-evident, and more- 
over furnished him by the Jewish interpreters, scarcely requires 
mentioning. Against the latter Bochart remarks : " Frigidum id 
est mprimis, quod his prophctcs verbis : Et ascendens etc. signijicari 
vult Zorobabelis modcstiam et pacis studium. Sic enim etiam Solo- 
mon cum toto equitatu suo did potuerit asino esse vectus, quia rex 
nullus pads fiiit studiosior." But still greater sacrifices of exegeti- 
cal feeling were required by v. 10 ; for scarcely can a stronger con- 
trast be conceived than that between the poor Zerubbabel, and the 
king of this verse. The removal of the war-chariots, &>c., from 
Ephraim, signifies, according to him, that all hostile power shall be 
made harmless, (comp. p. 100.) That ",he will speak peace to the 
heathen," he explains : " nempe civitas Jerusalem fcedera faciet cum 
regibus, cum Lacedcumoniis, cum Romanis." The history of Zerub- 
babel left him here entirely in the lurch, but, rather than give up his 
hypothesis on that account, he resorts to a violation of grammar, and 
supplies as subject for '^3.T the femin. " Jerusalem." To this also 
he refers the suff. mascul. in iStyo. How little he accomplished by 
this great effort appears from a comparison of, " from sea to sea, 
from the Euphrates to the bounds of the earth," with his explana- 
tion : " imperium Hierosoly^norum, sub quod venit Samaria, Galilaia, 
Galaaditis et alia, qua; a tcmporibus Jeroboami distracta fuerant ! " 
The history of the interpretation of this prophecy by the Ration- 
alists presents much which corresponds with that by the Jews. 
They also could by no means perceive in it the Messiah in poverty 
and lowliness. They would thus have annihilated their whole sys- 
tem, which rests on the exclusion of every supernatural operation of 
God. Consequently they regarded the idea of the Messiah as a 
mere human invention. But, before they could carry through this 
assertion with any plausibility, they must set aside every thing that 
pointed to the lowliness, suffering, and death of the Messiah. For 
it was the expectation of a Messiah in glory only, that could be 
plausibly derived from the constitution of human nature, and the 
relations of the Israelitish people ; they did not themselves pretend 
to explain the origin of the idea of a suffering Messiah, (comp. I. 
268.) They were the more careful not to concede, that it was 
found in the Old Testament, since the agreement of such passages 
with the personal history of Christ was far more striking than that 
of the Messiah in glory. That which corresponds to the latter has, 
in part, yet to be fulfilled, and, even so far as it has been already 

110 ZECHARIAH 9:1-10. 

accomplished, remains in a great measure concealed from the eye 
of sense, and is obvious only to the eye of faith. With their views, 
therefore, they were compelled to pursue one of two ways, which the 
Jews had already taken before them. 

Those who sought for another subject than the Messiah, were 
here somewhat more numerous than among the Jews. Bauer led 
the way in his work on the Minor Prophets. He referred the proph- 
ecy to Simon Maccabseus, who, alas, was only not a king, and, from 
beginning to end, was a warrior. At a later period (in the Scholia 
in V. T.) he saw himself the absurdity of his interpretation, and 
betook himself to the ideal Messiah. Paulus, (on Matth. 21,) who, 
for a mere doctrinal reason, maintains that the portion was compos- 
ed in the time of the Maccabees, endeavoured by violent means to 
compel the prophecy to refer to the warlike John Hyrcanus ; a ref- 
erence which Jahn gave himself the trouble earnestly and funda- 
mentally to refute, {Vaticin. Mess. I. p. 171 sqq.). These two ititer- 
preters belong to a period, in which Rationalism, not having yet 
thoroughly learnt to orientalize, was cautious on the subject of the 
ideal Messiah. The second expedient, at a later period, was gen- 
erally preferred ; only two recent interpreters adhered to the old 
method of interpretation. According to Forberg {Comment, in 
Sack. Part. Post. Part. 1, p. 24,) the subject of the prophecy was 
King Uzziah, who vanquished the Philistines. Here also the mala 
intentio becomes very evident from his entirely omitting ''IV in the 
translation, and thus proving that he was not himself convinced of 
the correctness of his explanation. Theiner makes even Jehovah 
the subject ; he thought that Jehovah, who has gradually conquered 
all enemies, and who will conquer any, who may hereafter arise, is 
figuratively expressed by the prophet by the fiction of his solemn entry 
into Jerusalem. The erroneous interpretation of " poor," and " rid- 
ing on an ass," has here reached its climax, and it will not repay 
the trouble to show how J'^U also is explained in a manner entirely 
capricious, «Sic. 

The number of those, who refer the prophecy to the ideal Mes- 
siah is very great. So Eckermann, (Beitr. I. 1, p. 99 sqq.) Kuinol, 
Ammon, Eichhorn, Gescnius, Winer, and many others. Common to 
them all is the misunderstanding of "';ir, and the " riding on an ass." 
In respect to most of them, to this must be added the limitation of 
" from sea to sea," &c., to the narrow bounds of Palestine, and the 
erroneous interpretation of J'k/ij by conqueror, proceeding on the 

ZECHARIAH 9 : 1 - 10. 1 1 1 

supposition, that, if not taken in this sense, it must necessarily mean 
delivered, and imply previous suffering, which does not suit the 
preconceived idea of the Messiah. 

It is now incumbent upon us to prove the reference of the proph- 
ecy to the historical Christ, to be necessary, and the only one tliat 
is correct. All the arguments- are here combined, by which, in 
general, the Messianic character of a passage can be proved, (comp. 
Vol. I. 245.) 

1. The evidence of the New Testament is here of especial im- 
portance, and indeed, eminently, that of the Lord himself The 
older theologians, for the most part, regarded the entrance of Christ 
into Jerusalem on an ass, as an irrefragable internal argument for 
the reference of the prophecy to him. As such, Chrysostom of old 
triumphantly exhibited it to the Jews : ^Eqwtthjov toIwv t6v 'lovScilov, 
Tioiiog ^uodEvg oxovfisvog inl ovov rjk&ev slg 'legovaaXijfi, ul)^ ovy. av 
E^oiBv bItieIp, all' 1] TovTov fxovov. It must, however, be confessed, 
that, understood in this way, it could make an impression only on op- 
posers, who were favorably disposed. The English deists, {Bibliotli. 
Britann. 1, p. 403 sqq.) and among the recent critics. Amnion, ob- 
jected, that this action could prove nothing, since it was voluntary, 
and one which might be performed also by a false Messiah. In 
addition to this, there is another argument. The importance attach- 
ed to the entrance of Christ on an ass, as an internal argument for 
the fulfilment of the prophecy in him rested on the supposition, that 
Zechariah properly and literally described such an event. This 
supposition, however, is erroneous, though it was perceived by 
scarcely any of the older interpreters, except Calvin and Vitringa, 
{Comm. in Jes. II. p. 6fi7.) The " riding on an ass" is, in the first 
instance, only an individualizing of 'Jj^, only an exhibition of the 
lowliness of the exalted king by a striking image. Vitringa, there- 
fore, justly remarks, that the prophecy would be fulfilled in Christ, 
even though he had not in this manner made his entrance into Jeru- 
salem. Accordingly the absence of this sign could not be made an 
objection to another subject, if it could be shown that he possessed, 
in connexion with the other marks, only the substance of the figure, 
the entire lowliness which it implies. — In another point of view, 
however, the entrance of Christ is of great importance, as a proof of 
the Messianic character' of the passage. It supplies the place of 
an interpretation expressed in the most emphatic words. The en- 
trance of Christ was a symbolic action, whose object and import 

112 ZECHARIAH 9:1-10. 

were to establish his regal dignity, and at the same time to exhibit 
by a lively image the true nature of his person and his kingdom, in 
contrast with the false conceptions of his friends and his enemies. 
The entrance, therefore, had its import independent of the prophe- 
cy ; nor indeed did any action of Christ, or any event of his life, 
occur without such an import, and solely for the fulfilment of proph- 
ecy, which, to be sure, in very many instances, was a concurrent ob- 
ject, (comp. Vol. I. 328.) Without this independent import of the 
transaction, it is scarcely to be explained, why Mark and Luke did 
not expressly intimate its reference to the prophecy. But that Christ 
selected precisely this from among many possible modes of symbolic 
representation, that, in ordering the particular circumstances of his 
entrance, he had the prophecy in view, (comp. p. 98,) can be ex- 
plained only by the supposition, that as, especially in respect to the 
last actions and events of his life, he so repeatedly and emphatically 
exhibits the reference to the prophecies of the Old Testament, so 
did he intend by this explanation to represent himself as the king 
promised by Zechariah. The objection, that this explanation of 
his, has of itself no weight, as a testimony, is met by the wonderful 
deeds which preceded the transactions, and the wonderful circum- 
stances which were connected with it. — After the testimony of the 
Lord himself, for the reference of the prophecy to him, has been 
shown, it is scarcely necessary to dwell on that of the apostles. For 
the believer, the former is sufficient ; he who does not believe the 
Lord, will pay still less regard to his servants. In respect to Mat- 
thew, Fritzsche has already shown, that the close relation in which 
he places the entrance of Christ to the prophecy as well appears 
from TOTS, in V. 1, (quum appropinqiiasset Hierosolymis^ tunc memor 
oraculi misit,) as it also follows from v. 4. The form of citation in 
this verse, Tovto ds oXov yiyovsv Xva nlTjgca&jj, is the most emphatic 
of all, (comp. Vol. I. p. 328.) The reference to the prophecy is 
so important in the view of John, that he adduces it as something 
entirely peculiar, that the disciples attained to the knowledge of it 
after the glorification of Christ. 

2. As an external accessory proof, the testimony of Jewish tradi- 
tion also is valid, (comp. p. 105.) The author takes this opportu- 
nity to remark, that he has never attributed to this proof any other 
than a subordinate importance, and has always been far from sup- 
posing, that it is alone sufficient to establish the Messianic character 
of a passage. No one can be willing to assert this, who, from an 

ZECHARLVH 9 : 1 - 10. 1 13 

intimate acquaintance with the older Jewish interpretations, knows 
what a mass of passages are, without any reason, referred to the 
Messiah, even in them. An auxiliary argument, though not of itself 
decisive, may be derived from tradition, when, as in the present 
instance, the tradition can be shown to be both very ancient and 
unanimous, and when there is nothing in the passage to favor the 
carnal Messianic hopes of the Jews, and thus furnish an inducement 
for the Messianic interpretation. 

3, This interpretation can be justified also from parallel passages, 
V. 10. The words, " from sea to sea," «fcc., are taken from Ps. 72, 
already shown to be Messianic ; the remaining part of the verse 
refers back to the passage, Mic. 5 : 9, which is likewise Messianic, 
(comp. Beitr. 1, p. 368.) 

4. But the contents of the prophecy itself furnish the chief argu- 
ment after the authority of Christ and his apostles, and one which is 
in itself entirely decisive. The remarks contained in it of the king 
are of a kind, which suit no other subject than the historical Christ. 
Every subject found in the later Jewish history is excluded by his 
very designation as the king of the covenant people, xa/ iioxi]v, 
still more, however, by the enigmatical union of apparently the most 
opposite marks, the deepest abasement and helplessness, and at the 
same time a dominion, which, not by the power of arms, but the 
bare word of the king, extends itself over the whole earth, and brings 
all the heathen nations into a state of peace and obedience. The- 
odoret : xal to ndvrav naQaSo^oiaiov, oti xov xUvai ti]v xscpaXrjv ovx 
txav, 6 Tw ttco'Am XQrjauiusvog ntxarjQ yrjg x«t ^aXuaarjg sdeXi'jaag ey-gajijaE. 
That the reference to the ideal Messiah is untenable, its defenders 
themselves involuntarily testify, by their forced interpretations. 

Arguments against the Messianic interpretation 1o be refuted we 
do not find, unless one were to regard as such the trivial objection of 
R. Lipmann, that the dominion of Christ does not extend over the 
whole earth, and many wars have been waged since his appearance. 
The answer has already been given, (Vol. I. 297.) It is still to 
be remarked, that several fathers, as Theodoret and Eusebius, were 
led to refer this passage also, like Is. 2, to the peace, which pre- 
vailed under the reign of Augustus. By such weak interpretations, 
arising from an extravagant dread of every thing which could afford 
the least support to the doctrine of the Chiliasts, they must have 
strengthened opposers in their error. 

VOL. 11. 15 

114 ZECHARIAH 9:11. — 10. 12. 

Chap. 9: 11. — 10: 12. 

That a new portion here commences, or rather that a new scene 
presents itself to the spiritual eye of the prophet, is so clear from 
the contents, that it is scarcely conceivable how it could be over- 
looked by ancient and modern interpreters. The prophet, v. 9, 10, 
had described a kingdom of peace, which, deprived of all earthly 
weapons and bulwarks, should be extended over the whole earth, 
and embrace all the heathen nations. Here on a sudden all is war- 
like. The covenant people appear in conflict with their mighty 
oppressors, and as such the Greeks are particularly mentioned. The 
victory obtained by the aid of the Lord is followed, in connexion 
with other Theocratic blessings, by that freedom, of which the cov- 
enant people under Zechariah were still painfully destitute. And, 
in order to make the prosperity complete, Ephraim also, who, at the 
time of the prophet, appeared, according to human view, to be a 
branch for ever separated from the vine, is at last led back by the 
Lord from his dispersion, and again incorporated with the Theocracy. 

It is evident from this representation, that the prophecy, with 
the exception of the last prediction, which reaches to the time of the 
Messiah, refers not merely in the first instance, but exclusively to 
the time of the Maccabees. What the Lord would then do to com- 
plete the work begun among the covenant people by the restoration 
from the Babylonish exile, the prophet represents to his contempora- 
ries, who are mourning over the feeble beginnings of the new colony. 

This sudden transition from the time of the Messiah to that which 
preceded it, need not appear strange. The prophet had spoken, 
V. 1-8, of the expedition of Alexander, and of the protection of the 
covenant people during its progress. The transition from this point 
to the times of the Maccabees, would have been altogether more in 
accordance with the actual succession of events. But in the period 
between the two events his spiritual eye had fallen upon the far 
greater blessings, which should be conferred upon the covenant 
people by the Messiah. This we cannot explain, with Jahn, by sup- 
posing a contrast of the great Prince of Peace with the great worldly 
conqueror described, v. 1-8. Had this been the design of the 
prophet, the person of the latter in v. 1-8, would not have been 
kept so much in the back ground. It was rather owing to the fact, 
that the Messianic hopes so entirely fill the soul of the prophets, that 


ZECHARIAH 9 : 11. - 10 : 12. 115 

they pass over from every inferior blessing to this last and highest, 
to which all others refer, unconcerned whether in the mean time 
other blessings of God still await the covenant people, in the repre- 
sentation of which, in a manner equally easy and unobserved, they 
again return to the Messianic time, the images of which everywhere 
force themselves upon them with an irresistible charm, and some- 
times even mingle with those of the nearer benefits, (comp. Vol. I. 
p. 226.) 

V. 11. "Even thou, — on account of thy covenant sealed with 
blood, I release thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no loater." 
J??<"D4, according to most interpreters, (Mark, Michaelis, Pfeifer, 
Rosenmiiller and others,) stands in contrast with the blessings an- 
nounced in the preceding context to the heathen nations : " Believe 
not, O Zion, that the Lord will therefore neglect thee; he will rather 
cherish for thee an entirely peculiar care." But this supposition is 
untenable, because the promises in the two foregoing verses directly 
refer only to the covenant people, and only so far to the heathen, as 
the predicted extension of the Theocracy over them was also a 
benefit to the covenant people. It is Zion's king whose dominion 
extends itself over the whole earth, and in his glory his people also 
participate. Equally inadmissible is the explanation of Cocceius 
and others, " Non solum venit rex tuus, sed et diniisi vincfos tuos." 
For it renders the pron. separatum r\X, which must necessarily have 
a peculiar emphasis, entirely useless, and the DJ connected with it 
by Makkeph, is referred directly to 'J?!;!^"^. The correct interpre- 
tation is, that j7<X"DJ " also thou," stands for " even thou," exactly 
as v. 12, Drri~DJ, " even to day," i. q. although thou art in a state 
of total helplessness, although thou appearest to be lost beyond de- 
liverance. This, so far as we are informed, is peculiar to Calvin : 
" Particula DJ emphatica est, quasi diceret : Video me non multum 
proficere apud vos, quia estis quodammodo attoniti malts ; deinde 
nulla spes vos recreat, quoniam putatis, vos esse quasi centum mor- 
tibus obrutos. Ergo utcunque hcec congeries malorum vos exanimet, 

— tamen redimam vinctos vestros Nam tunc poterat occur- 

rere hecc dubitutio : Quid iste nos ad ingentem Icetitiam horlatur, cum 
tamen partim adhuc captiva sit ecclesia dei, pariim autem misere et 
crudeliter ab hostibus suis vexentur, qui reversi sunt in patriam. 
Huic objcctioni in dei ptersona rcspondef propheta, quod scilicet deus 
ad suos liberandos sufficiet, etiamsi demersi sint in profundissimo 
gU7'gitey '^n"''}3~DT3, " in the blood of thy covenant," is by several 

116 2ECHARIAH 9: 11— 10:12. 

interpreters referred to 'Onb'>^. It would not then be necessary to 
attribute an unauthorized meaning to 3. Tl>e action of deliverance 
would be represented as resting in the blood of the covenant, or 
depending upon it. But this connexion is contrary to the accents 
which bind the words closely with J^N"OJ, and separate them from 
'J^nW : " also thou, in the blood of thy covenant I dismiss," &/C., 
i. q. " how-ever miserable thou mayst be, nevertheless, because thou 
art in the blood of the covenant, thou art thereby freed from sin, 
and consecrated to me," &c. After the conclusion of the covenant 
on Sinai, Moses had sprinkled the people with the blood of the 
victims, saying : " Behold that is the blood of the covenant, which 
the Lord makes with you concerning all these words." Exod. 24 : 8. 
— By this symbolical act, — the blood a sign and means of deliver- 
ance from sin, Levit. 17: 11; Heb. 9: 18 sq., — were the people 
solemnly declared as purified, consecrated to the Lord, and, there- 
fore, at the same time also under his peculiar protection, a declara- 
tion, which was constantly repeated by the sacrificial institutions 
ordained by God. The blood of the covenant was accordingly a 
sure pledge to the covenant people of deliverance from every dis- 
tress, so long as they did not make its promises of none effect by a 
wicked violation of the conditions, which God had imposed, Cal- 
vin : " Si sacrificia vestra neque frustra insiituit deus, neque etiam 
fru'stra vos servutis, ccrte effectiis tandem in lucem prodibit. — Vos 
quotidie offertis victimas et sanguis funditur in altari ; hoc deus 
fioluit frusti-a fieri. Jam cum idea vos 7-ecipiat deus in gratiam, ut 
salvi sitis : liberabit ergo vinctos ecclcsioE sum." ^T^vh.^. is taken by 
several interpreters, as Jarchi, Kimchi, Drusius, Grotius, Blayney, 
Rosenmiiller, and others, as a proper prefer ; "As I formerly 
brought back thy captives from Egypt, so (v. 12) also shall ye now 
return to your native land." Tarnov : " Non est, quod de cample- 
mento prcecedcntium (others : sequentium) promissionum quicquam 
dubites : respicc saltern recens tibi prcBstitum beneficium, quo ex Bab- 
ylone es educta, id quod tibi, quando promittebatur per prophetas 
ejus, ix Tojv advi'uuoj' esse videbatur." But there is no doubt, that 
THl^ is the prcBtcritum propheticum, and that the prophet speaks 
of a future deliverance of the covenant people. On the opposite 
supposition the discourse is too abrupt, and requires something to be 
supplied. The expression, " return to the stronghold," v. 12, which, 
as will hereafter appear, relates "to the pit in which there is no 
water," shows, that we are not here to look for a designation of an 

ZECHARIAH 9:11.-10:12. 117 

affliction which has long since passed ; and besides the reference 
to the oppression in Egypt, and in general to any calamity which 
had already taken place, is irreconcpable with the correct interpre- 
tation of the first words of the verse. In what follows also, and 
which is generally acknowledged to relate to the future, the prcster 
is constantly interchanged with tlie future, corap. e. g. v. 13. — 
Empty cisterns were used in the East instead of prisons; hence the 
latter, even when they were not cisterns, received the name "ii!3. 
In consequence of the mud remaining in them, they were exceed- 
ingly unwholesome and noxious. 13 D'.D px is taken by several, as 
Calvin, as a designation of a second distress, not necessarily connect- 
ed with confinement in the cistern : " Deinde siti etiam arescerc, ita 
ut spontc illis immincal mors, nisi liberentur viirahiliter a deo," But 
this addition, which, so far as the language is concerned, alludes 
to Gen. 38 : 24, Ci;d 13 px pn "n^ni, serves rather for a more ac- 
curate description of the iiJ itself. It was only into cisterns with- 
out water, that prisoners were thrown. Mark, therefore, is likewise 
in error when he perceives herein an allusion to a quality of the 
pit itself, which would make it insupportable : " Cum fovea; negan- 
tur agues, possit in ea indirecte videri positum lutum profundum, 
fcedum et foetidumJ' Ps. 40 : 3 ; Jer. 38 : 6. — Many interpreters 
suppose the abiding in the pit, to be a figurative designation of im- 
prisonment; so Grotius, Rosenmijller, Eichhorn, Forberg. But this 
supposition has no justification in the figure itself. It rather occurs 
elsewhere also in a wider sense, as a designation of the deepest dis- 
tress and misery. Thus e. g. Ps. 40 : 3, 88 : 7 ; Lam. 3 : 53, where 
the reference to a special event in the life of Jeremiah is evidently 
erroneous. Also Is. 42 : 22, the image of a prison stands for a de- 
signation of the deepest misery. That this wider meaning, however, 
prevails in this passage appears from the following grounds. 1. As 
the stronghold in v. 12, is an image of prosperity and security, so 
must its contrast also, the pit, be an image of misfortune and help- 
lessness. We find entirely the same antithesis, Ps. 40 : 3. " He 
brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and 
set my feet upon a rock.'^ 2. The way in which the covenant peo- 
ple, according to v. 13, shall be delivered from their distress by a 
brave effort, favored by the Lord, shows, that it is not a carrying 
away into exile, connected with a deprivation of all the means of 
defence, which is intended. Finally, it must still be added, that the 
supposition of a captivity in a strange land, being here the subject 

118 ZECHARIAH 9: 11.— 10: 12. 

of discourse, presupposes one of two erroneous hypotheses, viz. either 
the reference of v. 1 1 , to something past, or the spuriousness of the 
second part. — We now e.xamine more closely what distress and 
what misery here presented themselves to the spiritual eye of the 
prophet. The Greek and Latin fathers, likewise the later Christian 
interpreters, (comp. the collections by Mark, and those still more 
complete by Miinden, Dissert, ad h. I. Helmstadt) almost unani- 
mously refer the passage to the spiritual distress and misery, from 
which the Messiah should deliver. But this is plainly erroneous. 
The distress in this verse is the same from which, v. 12, deliverance 
is promised ; and from the more accurate description of this deliver- 
ance, in v. 13, it appears, that it should consist in a victorious con- 
flict against the Greeks. According to this close connexion of 
V. 11- 13, which is undeniable, the distress can be no other than 
the oppression experienced from Alexander's successors in the king- 
dom of Syria. This is so very obvious, that it surely would not have 
been overlooked, if critics had not been led astray by the supposition, 
founded on ignorance of the prophetic vision, that it would be un- 
natural for the prophet to make a sudden transition from the Messi- 
anic time to an earlier period, from the highest deliverance to an 
inferior one. The greater portion of them were so blinded by this 
supposition, that they explained the whole portion allegorically ; 
others, as Theodoret and Mark, feeling how unnatural this would 
be, suppose that the portion from v. 13 referred directly to the times 
of the Maccabees ; certainly with less consistency than the rest, as 
Cyril, Cocceius, Ch. B. Michaelis ; since v. 13 sq. cannot possibly 
refer to any other subject than the two foregoing, with which they 
are most closely connected by ■'P. 

V. 12. " Return to the stronghold ye prisoners of hope. To-day 
I still declare ; The double will I return to you." " Turn back to 
the stronghold," has been the subject of many false interpretations. 
One of the most common is that, according to which Zion or 
Jerusalem is understood by the stronghold, and the prophet ex- 
horts those, who still remain in exile, to return to their native land. 
The difficulty that Jerusalem was an open place in the time of 
Zechariah, and was not fortified again until a later period, by Ne- 
hemiah, they endeavoured to remove in various ways. Calvin sup- 
poses Jerusalem to be called a stronghold, because the protection of 
the Lord surrounds it as a wall of fire : " Etsi enim Judcea tunc 
nan adeo inunita erat, imo neque ipsa Hierosolyma altos muros vel 

ZECHARIAH 9:11. — 10. 12. 119 

validas turres haberet, crat tavieri dei munitio, et quidem inexpugna- 
hilis. — Zacharias in ilia rcrum omnium penuria docct esse satis 
prcBsidii in uno deo." Jahn finds an intimation of the future forti- 
fication of Jerusalem ; others, as Mark and Grotius, an exhortation 
to return to God, as the true bulwark of those who flee to him for 
refuge. Others finally, as Rosenmiiller, after the Chaldee paraphrast, 
explain : " Revcrtimini, ut fiatis, h. e. iterum Jiatis civitotcs muni- 
tee;" against which Mark justly observes, that S connected with 2W 
could naturally point out, as it does everywhere else, only the ter- 
minus niotus ad quern. All these interpretations have arisen from 
mistaking the very obvious contrast of the stronghold and the pit, 
an attention to which shows at once that p"^^5, locus inaccessus, 
munitus, in like manner as the rock, the high place, &c., in nu- 
merous passages, is only an image of security and prosperity. The 
imper. -niiy stands for fut., to express the thought, that the return 
depends on nothing else but the will of the covenant people, just as 
chap. 10 : 1, " ask of the Lord rain," i. e. ye need only ask rain. — 
By the address, " prisoners of hope," the prophet calls the attention 
of his people to the covenant and the promises, which, even in the 
deepest misery, afforded them a pledge of their future deliverance. 
— Drn-o: has been correctly understood by Michaelis alone of all 
the older interpreters : " Loquitur hie deus, non quasi eminus futura 
commonstrans, sed quasi diem, qui futurus erat, prcesentem jam 
stitissef." The prophet is transferred in the spirit to the time when 
the oppression of the covenant people has reached its summit, and 
thence beholds its approaching end. Without this supposition, suffi- 
ciently grounded in a correct view of the nature of prophecy, it is 
inconceivable how a stress so entirely peculiar can be laid by the 
subjoined DJ, on to-day. Moreover, this transition to the time of the 
oppression, some hundred years distant, is placed beyond a doubt 
by the preceding address: " Return to the stronghold, ye prisoners 
of hope." — "I will render back to thee double," viz. of the pros- 
perity which thou formerly possessed ; parallel passages, which 
Zechariah probably had in view, are Is. 40 : 2, " That she receives 
of the Lord double, D^bss, for all the punishments of her sins; " 
61:7, " Instead of your shame will I give you double, n;i.t^p ; in- 
stead of reproach, they shall rejoice over their inheritance; in their 
land they shall possess double ; everlasting joy shall be to them." 

V. 13. " For I bend to me Judah, Jill the boic with Ephraim, and 
raise up thy sons, O Zion, agaitist thy sons, O Javan, and rnake 

120 ZECH ARI AH 9 : 11 . - 10 : 12. 

thee like the sword of a hero." The prophet here more particularly 
described the distress, and the way in which the deliverance from it, 
predicted in general in the preceding verse, should take place. By 
the help of the Lord, (Calvin : " Quid arcus per se poterit, nisi ten- 
daturl Deinde nisi excutianiur sagittce, arcus ipse jacebit,") they 
shall obtain, notwithstanding their own weakness, splendid victo- 
ries over their powerful oppressors, the Greeks. By a bold figure 
the prophet represents Judah, as the bow bent by the Lord, 
Ephraim, as the arrow shot by him, to express the thought, that 
Judah and Ephraim would both take a part in the glorious strug- 
gle, and perhaps also intimates a certain subordination of Ephraim 
to Judah. A figure somewhat similar has been adduced by Jahn, 
from Abulfeda, {Annal. 3Ioslem. t. III. p. 474.) The host ap- 
pears there as the bow, the leader as the arrow shot from the 
same. According to the accents, nii*p.. does not belong to the fore- 
going, but the following words. It is unnecessary to depart from 
their authority ; nay the connexion with what precedes, assumed by 
many interpreters, is even untenable. For ""nx^.n then loses one of 
its two objects, and must necessarily have a suff. referring to r\wp„. 
— The only correct interpretation of the words Dnss 'nxHn nK/p. 
is : "I fill the bow with Ephraim." Mark unjustly objects that 
the arrow does not fill the bow, (" Itvplere aliquid aliqua re de 
collectione et copia dicitur, arcui vero singida ad singulos jactus 
imponuntur spicula,") an objection which Drusius, though in an 
unsatisfactory manner, sought to obviate by the remark : " Impleri 
arcus intclligitur, cum sagittce crehrcB per eum emittuntur." As 
only one arrow can be shot with the bow, it is full as soon as this 
is applied. Abundant examples are found in Syriac, a/w// bow, for 
one furnished with an arrow. Is. 21 : 15, and "to fill the bow," for 
to supply it with an arrow, Ps. 11 : 2, as a free, though not, as J. D. 
Michaelis supposes, a verbal translation of the Hebr. na/p pn and 
n>m. najp... Among the remaining interpretations, many of which 
are exceedingly arbitrary, that of Jerome deserves notice : " Quasi 
arcum implevi Ephraim," among the moderns defended by Michae- 
lis (Supplem. p. 1504), according to which Ephraim, as well as 
Judah, is represented under the image of a bow in the hand of the 
Lord. But it is liable to the objection, that the omission of the one 
object, although this in itself is not untenable, must yet not be as- 
sumed without necessity ; besides the unsuitableness of attributing 
a double bow to the same archer, and the more so, since the last 

ZECHARIAH 9: 11. — 10: 12. 121 

comparison of Zion with a sword renders the mention of different 
kinds of arms probable. Another false interpretation, as it is found, 
among others, in Jarchi, " Arcu implebo luanum Ephraimi," with 
a comparison of 2 Kings 9 : 24, is objectionable, not only on account 
of the collocation of the words, which plainly should give promi- 
nence to ^l^^'p , as the first object, but also the feebleness of the sense, 
in contrast with the first member, where Judah himself appears as 
the bow in the hand of the Lord. — " I awake thy sons, O Zion, 
against thy sons, O Javan." These words have involved those, 
who introduce false hypotheses for the interpretation of this portion, 
in no small embarrassment. The older interpreters, who explained 
the vvhole portion allegorically, assume, that the Greeks stand here 
by Synecdoche for all heathen nations, who should be constrained 
by the Gospel. This supposition, however, is entirely groundless, 
even if we leave out of view, that the spiritual interpretation of the 
vvhole portion is altogether arbitrary. It is indeed true, that a 
species is not seldom rendered prominent by the prophets, where 
they intend the whole genus ; but then there must be a ground for 
this individualization. Thus, e. g., no people can stand for all the 
enemies of the Theocracy, which has not either before, or at the 
time of the prophet, sustained towards it a hostile relation, or be- 
come already in his time an object of peculiar terror. The neces- 
sity of such a ground the older interpreters seem also to have felt in 
the present instance. But the owa which they have given is exceed- 
ingly strange : " Pei' Grcecos significat omnes gentiles, orta nimirum 
hac loquendi consuetudine tx eo, quod pleraque pars Orientis olim 
Greece loquebatur." So Drusius and several others, urging at the 
same time, that in the New Testament the heathen, under the name 
of Greeks, are opposed to the Jews, In this they intentionally for- 
got to distinguish the times of Zechariah from those of the New 
Testament. — The recent Rationalist interpreters were involved in 
still greater embarrassment by this passage. Their fundamental 
principle, that the prophets constantly prophesied only of what lay 
within the political horizon of their time, was here in danger of suf- 
fering a sensible shock. The difficulty increased, as soon as the 
prophecy was referred, as it was by several, to the time of Uzziah. 
Different expedients, alike arbitrary, were resorted to. Fliigge 
asserted, that Javan plainly signified here the same as Damascus 
and Hamath, chap. 9:1, and endeavoured to show in an especial 
excursus, 1. c. p. 86 sq., that the pure Hebrew writers have in gen- 

VOL, II. 16 

122 ZECHARIAH 9; 11. — 10; 12. 

eral never understood by Javan, the land of Greece. Forberg sup- 
poses the prediction of a war against the Greeks, even in the time 
of Isaiah, would not be strange, if we only comp. Amos. 1 : 9, 10 ; 
Joel 4 : 4-7. But we see not what these passages can prove, since 
they by no means speaic of a war against the Greeks, which, under 
the circumstances of that period, is altogether inconceivable. The 
land of Greece is rather named only as pne of the most distant 
lands, into which individual Israelites had been carried prisoners by 
the traffic in slaves, not through the fault of its inhabitants, but of 
the Tyrians, against whom alone on this account the divine punish- 
ment is threatened. Rosenmiiller asserts, in order to maintain the 
position that the Greeks here stand in general, by metonymy, for the 
heathen enemies of the covenant people, in defiance of all history, 
that the Macedonians in the time of the prophet had risen to such 
power, that they filled all the inhabitants of western Asia with terror. 
Eichhorn (Hebr. Proph. III. p. 424) resorts to the most desperate 
means in order to place the composition of the prophecy in the 
period after Alexander the Great, when the Greeks were actually 
the most powerful nation in all hither Asia. But these forced ex- 
pedients are unnecessary, so soon as we proceed without prejudice 
to the interpretation of the passage. The name Javan, to which 
the Homeric forms, Jaon and Jaones, as well as the Syriac, Jaunoje, 
approach the nearest, and which, for this very reason, we must not, 
with J. D. Michaelis, hastily change into Jon, designates the Greece 
of the Hebrews in a wider sense, as is evident from the fact, that 
Alexander, Dan. 8 : 21, is called king of the land of Greece. Nu- 
merous traces of an original wider import of the name, even among 
the Greeks themselves, have been pointed out by Bochart, Phaleg, 
III. 3, cap. 154. The prophet, now raised, indeed, by divine 
illumination above the horizon of his time, represents, in passing, the 
victory which the Jews under the Maccabees, by the aid of the 
Lord, should gain over the Grecian rulers of Syria, as it had already 
been fully predicted by Daniel. The nearer the prophetic order 
approached its termination, the more necessary it became that the 
holy seers, who still remained, should apprize, not only their con- 
temporaries, but also their successors to the time of Christ, that the 
Lord had deposited for them, in the prophecies, a treasure. of conso- 
lation and strength in their distresses, the exact prediction of which 
afforded them the proof, that they were not under the control of 
chance, but of their God, and at the same time the pledge, that the 

ZECHARIAH 9: 11. — 10: 12. 123 

predicted deliverance would no less surely come, (comp. the more 
full remarks on this subject in Beitr. I. p. 191 sq.) — This reference 
of the passage is so very obvious, that, as we have before remarked, 
even several defenders of the spiritual interpretation of the whole 
portion, and of the reference to the Messianic times, cannot refrain 
from regarding it at least as the lower sense, and the one first in- 
tended. Thus says Theodoret : 'aXXu yaq xat inl twv May-idovav wg 
iv tvnm iiigag ^tay,E rj nQocpr^rsiCi ' oq^riaavxa yug t^? 2^ia}V t« jiuva inl 
T« Tb)v "EXlrivoiv, eTQiipavTo is Tag noXXag rcov Maxidovav fivgidSag xal 
TQonaiov eyBiQixvTEg inavrjk&ov vmricpoqoi, xal to xutuXv&sv &voiaaTrjQiov 

V, 14. "And the Lord will appear over them; and his arrow 
goes forth as the lightning y and the Lord will blow with the trum- 
pet ; he moves in the storms of the south." The wonderful aid which 
God affords his people is represented under the image of that where- 
in bis omnipotence is most strikingly exhibited in nature, viz. a 
thunderstorm, as, only far more fully, in Ps. 18, on which Calvin 
remarks : " Summa hue redit, deum ilium, qui omnes mundi partes, 
quoties ita visum est, concutit, uhi Davidi liberator adesse voluit, 
non minus aperte ceriisque indiciis apparuisse, quam si virtutem 
suam sursum et deorsum in omnibus creaturis exeruisset." The 
Lord draws near in the thunderstorm, the lightnings are his arrows, 
the thunder the trumpet wherewith he gives to his host the signal 
for the assault. The image is strictly carried through, except only 
that the arrows of God are compared with the lightning, not the 
lightnings, as in Ps. 18 : 15, (" He sent his arrows and scattered 
them, lightnings in abundance, and put them in confusion,") repre- 
sented directly as the arrows of God. — Several interpreters take 
or?"''?.]'!., in the sense, " in their front," since they here find an allu- 
sion to the pillar of smoke and fire, which guided the Israelites 
through the wilderness, Exod. 13 : 21, 22, 14 : 19, 24. This ex- 
planation is not against usage, since Sj,» is employed of every thing 
that is higher than another. Comp. Ewald, p. 610. But the expla- 
nation over them, over their heads, is more agreeable to the figure 
of a thunderstorm. The Lord appears in the thunderstorm over his 
people, his host, and thence hurls the lightnings, his arrows, at the 
enemy. — Storms of the south occur also. Job 37 : 9 ; Is. 21 : 1, in 
the latter place in reference to Babylonia, as peculiarly violent, 
while elsewhere those from the east commonly appear as the most 
vehement. Comp. Bochart, Hieroz. II. c 102. 

124 ZECHARIAH 9, 11 — 10: 12. 

V. 15. " The Lord of Hosts will protect them ; they eat, tread 
underfoot sling-stones, drink, make a tumult as from loine, become 
full as the sacrificial bowls, as the corners of the altar." Israel 
appears here, as Numb. 23 : 4, under the figure of a lion, "which 
does not lie down until he devours prey, and drinks the blood of the 
slain ; " they eat not, indeed, as several interpret, the good things 
of the enemy, but their flesh, as plainly appears from the following 
word, drink, referring to the blood. Comp. chap. 12 : 6 ; Is. 49 : 26 ; 
" I make your oppressors eat your flesh, and they shall drink of 
your blood, as of must." The phrase pSp-'J^x ''^^^] is explained 
by most interpreters, " they subdue by sling-stones." Thus of old, 
the Seventy : Kal y-ajaxwaovai avTuvg iv Xi&oig atptrdovrjc. Jerome : 
" Tanta crit ruina GrcBcorum, ut non dicatn gladiis, sed jactu lapi- 
dum etfundarum rotatibus opprimantur." Likewise Mark, Michae- 
lis, Theiner, Winer, and others. This interpretation is to be reject- 
ed even on account of its feebleness, so little suited to the dithyram- 
bic elevation of the rest of the verse. The only true interpretation 
is, " they tread sling-stones under their feet," so that the enemies, 
in order to designate their weakness and contemptibleness, are them- 
selves represented as sling-stones. The figure of the lion is then 
carried forward. That portion of the prey which he cannot devour, 
he proudly treads upon with his feet. This interpretation is favored, 
1. by the parallelism. As in the second member every thing which 
follows 'irs'^ relates to the blood, so here also must whatever follows 
^^Dii be referred to the flesh. 2. The parallel passages. Entirely 
analogous is chap. 10 : 5, " They are as heroes trampling on the 
dirt of the streets; " where the enemy, just as they are here repre- 
sented as sling-stones, appear as dirt of the streets, while they are 
only therewith compared by Mtcah, chap. 7:10, who is less bold. In 
another respect those passages are parallel, where, in the figure bor- 
rowed from wild animals, the eating and trampling under foot are 
connected with one another. Thus Mic. 5:7, " Israel will be 
among the nations as a lion among the beasts of the woods, as a 
young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, passing through, at once 
tramples under foot and tears in pieces, while no one is able to 
deliver." Dan. 7:7," It devoured and brake in pieces and stamp- 
ed the residue with his feet." 3. The manifest antithesis between 
J^'2P..'.ii55i and "in. ''J3N in the following verse. As there the Israelites 
appear under the image of the most precious stones, crown-stones, 
so must the meanest of all .stones, sling-stones, here designate their 

ZECHARIAH 9 : 11. — 10 : 12. 125 

enemies. The verb K/^D stands here accordingly in its original 
meaning, to tread under, which does not indeed occur elsewhere in 
Hebrew, (in Mic. 7 : 19, where Winer assumes it, the usual meaning, 
to subjugate, is the more suitable : " Peccatmu concipitur immitis 
instar tyranni, cujus ferociam divina reprcssura sit gratia." Mi- 
chael.) but its existence is evident from the derivative tJ'^:?., quod 
pedibus subjicitur, scabellum, and it also occurs in the Syriac. — 
W.T}, "they make a noise," signifies the drunkenness of the Israelites 
with victory and joy. — \''.\ IDP is taken by several as in the accus. 
governed by inti^ But more correctly others, " as wine," i. e. " as 
those who drink, wine." This interpretation has in its favor the natural 
connexion with the verb immediately preceding, the suitableness of 
the concise expression, indicating a whole proposition by a single 
word, to the character of the whole verse ; and lastly, in a very 
peculiar manner, the parallel passage, chap. 10 : 7, " Their heart 
rejoices as wine," for " as though they had drunk wine." That in 
such cases we need not, as several have done here, supply a Jp 
requires now no farther proof — In the phrase, " they become full 
as the sacrificial bowl," the article shows that we are not to under- 
stand by p"^lp every sacred bowl, but only those in which the blood, 
after all the veins of the victim had been opened, was received by 
the priests, and in part sprinkled upon the horns of the altar of 
burnt sacrifice, (comp. Lund, jud. Alterlh. p. 658.) The article 
refers back to ^^^^"Q, as the sacred bowl, sc. which is full of blood, 
comp. 14 : 20. — " As the corners of the altar." The blood was prop- 
erly sprinkled, not against the corners, but the horns of the altar 
which were upon them. The prophet, however, here mentions the 
corners, because he considers the horns as belonging to them. Sev- 
eral, therefore, have been mistaken in concluding from this passage, 
that the horns of the altar were only its four corners, (comp. Lund, 
1. c. p. 199.) 

V. 16. " And the Lord grants thctn prosperity in this day, his 
people as a flock. For they shall be croton-stones raising themselves 
up on his land.'' ir^tyin does not here stand for mere rescue and 
deliverance, but moreover for the imparting of prosperity in general. 
This appears even from a comparison with that which the shepherd 
affords to the flock ; still more, however, from the second part of 
the verse, where the particle '3 indicates, that its contents must be 
already included in ir^ir^. After |Xi'^ it is most natural to supply 
rtt'in, " as a flock" ; for, as a shepherd takes care of his flock, he 

126 ZECHARIAH 9: 11. — 10: 19. 

takes care of his people. Several, as Drusiiis and Michaelis, take 
|i<]f as standing with T?>' in stat, const. " as a flock of his people," ut 
decet saloare gregem jjopuli sui, in comparison with Dnx |Xi*, ores 
hominum, Ez. 36 : 37, 38. But this interpretation would be admis- 
sable only in case i'-^ had no suff.\ the suff. excludes every com- 
parison, and the supposition of the caph. veritatis, by which it has 
been attempted here also to escape from the particle of comparison 
^, is groundless, comp. Ewald, p. 614 ; Winer s. v. — The second 
part of the verse is very variously interpreted ; the correct explana- 
tion is, " For in thy land they raise themselves up as crown-stones." 
Induced by the comparison of the enemies with sling-stones, the 
prophet represents the Israelites under the figure of costly precious 
stones, which set in high crowns, that stand in the holy land of the 
Lord, widely diffuse their radiance. This interpretation has in its 
favor, besides supplying the only suitable antithesis to the sling- 
stones in V. 15, that it only takes "tn in its established sense, and 
that '3, in v. 17, then stands completely in its place. For the im- 
age of the radiating precious stones already includes in itself all the 
glory of the Israelites, which, in v. 17 sq., is particularly recounted. 
DDiJOH' not as a pure passive, but in the usual sense of Hithpael, in 
which it also occurs, Ps. 60 : 6. The suf. in innnx refers, as well 
as that in i^s;', to the Lord, not to the people, who had just been 
spoken of in the plural. That it is the land of the Lord in which 
the Israelites attain to this honor, constitutes at the same time its 
cause and the pledge of its continuance, and heightens their pros- 
perity and their dignity. We now take a survey of the various 
interpretations. Some, as Mark, explain, " Boundary stones are 
raised on this land," On the contrary, 1.I3 never occurs in the gen- 
eral sense sepai'atio, which is indeed its original meaning, but only 
of a special kind of separation, that of a Nazarite. Another objec- 
tion is the feebleness of the sense, here especially unsuitable, and 
the impossibility of accounting for the "'3 at the beginning, and '^i in 
V. 17, Many other interpreters explain after the Vulgate, " Sacred 
stones are erected." They have in view memorials of victory and 
divine deliverance, and some of them here find, with Cornelius a 
Lapide, an allusion to the twelve stones, which Joshua erected on 
the opposite bank, after the passage through the Jordan, This in- 
terpretation has indeed more to recommend it than the former; but 
yet such a sense of in. cannot be proved, and the double '3 can 
scarcely be accounted for. 

ZECHARIAH, Chap. 10. 127 

V. 17. "For how great is his goodness, how great his beauty ! 
Ctrn makes the young men and must the maidens increase." The 
suff. in n5£3 and in r?; is referred by most interpreters to the peo- 
ple, by some of those, who, as Rosenmuller, correctly refer that in 
innix to Jehovah, But there is no reason to suppose such an 
anomaly. It is very appropriate, that the prophet should praise with 
an exclamation of wonder the goodness of God, which he manifests 
to his people, and the beauty in which he appears to him. This 
explanation even gives a finer sense than the other. It is confirmed 
by the parallel passage, Jer. 31 : 12; " They come and exult on the 
height of Zion, and flow together to the goodness of Jehovah, to 
the corn and the must and the oil," which so harmonizes with the 
passage before us, that its use by Zechariah might almost be assum- 
ed ; comp. also v. 14, " My people shall be full of my goodness." 
Ps. 31 : 20. " How great is thy goodness, ^iitJ, which thou hast pre- 
pared for those who fear thee." Ps. 25 : 7. — Corn and wine are 
here first mentioned, as a part for the whole of the divine blessings. 
Where there is an abundance of both, there is a rapid increase of 
the population. Altogether similar is Ps. 72 : 17 ; " If also there be 
only a handful of corn in the land, yet shall its fruit rustle on the 
summit of the mountains, like Lebanon, and they shall bloom forth 
from the city, as the grass of the earth," by which latter words, at the 
same time, the figure of making to spring up in this verse, is illus- 
trated. The abundance of the means of subsistence, and increase of 
the population, belongs to the Theocratic blessings, as the opposite to 
the Theocratic judgments. The specification of young men and 
maidens, indicates that the children should not be prematurely 
taken away, as happens in the time of public calamity, but attain to 
full age, comp. Is. 65 : 20, " There shall no more be there children, 
who do not reach their days, or old persons, who do not fill up their 

Chap. 10. 

V. 1. "Ask the Lord for rain at the time of the. latter rain; 
immediately the Lord causes lightnings, and gives to them an abun- 
dant rain, to each one grass on his field." The verse stands in the 
closest connexion with the foregoing. By misunderstanding the 

128 ZECHARIAH Chap. 10. 

imper. i^^Kj, most interpreters regard it not as a co'itinuation of the 
preceding representation, but as the commencement of a new train 
of thoucrht. The prophet is supposed to proceed from the promises 
to an exhortation, which contains at the same time a reproof. Thus 
e.g. Calvin: " Postqiiam ostendit Zach., dcum it a fore beneficum 
erga Judcsos, ut nihil illis dcsit ad beatarn et foslicem vitam, nunc 
perstringit eorum incredulitatem, quod non exspectmt a domino, qws 
paratus esset large illis prcestare. Qvoniam ergo per eos tantum 
stabat, quominus fruerentur omni copia bonorum, insimulat eos hie 
ingratitudinis." Most interpreters suppose ir^^!D to be especially 
emphatic ; from the Lord, not as heretofore from idols ; and appeal 
particularly to the '2 at the beginning of v. 2, as admitting of no 
other interpretation. But it is plain they entirely miss the sense. 
Michaelis very justly remarks : " Tmperativus non onerosus, sed 
beyieficii ac privilegii et juris in rem cum annexa spe ccrtce exaudi- 
tionis." The exhortation to ask, expresses the highest readiness of 
God to give what is desired, i. q. ; Ye need only ask, it requires a 
bare request. Altogether similar is •niK', chap. 9: 12; comp. also 

1 Kings 3:5, " God said to Solomon ; Ask what I shall give thee." 

2 Kings 2:9; Ps. 2 : 8. After this apostrophe, which contains 
indirectly the promise, the prophet returns to the direct expression 
of it, as in chap. 9 : 12. The phrase " at the time of the latter 
rain " is merely as a part for the whole, an expression of the thought, 
" at the time when ye need rain" ; and we cannot thence conclude, 
that the latter rain was more necessary for the growth of vegetation, 
than the former. Elsewhere, as Joel 2 : 23, both are united. The 
choice of the name Jehovah is not without design. Rain was one 
of the Theocratic blessings, which the people enjoyed in case of 
true dependence on the Lord. The prophet has in view the pas- 
sage, Deut. II : 13- 15, the words of which he partly employs; " if 
thou wilt hearken to my commandments," &c., " so give I thee the 
rain of your land in its time, the former and the latter rain, and 
thou gatherest thy corn, thy wine, and thy must. Also give I grass 
{:^'V!i)) on thy field for thy cattle." The rain, among the multitude 
of the Theocratic blessings, is here rendered prominent only as a 
part for the whole. The lightnings are mentioned as its precur- 
sors, Jer. 10 : 13, " He makelh lightnings with rain." Ps. 135 : 7. 
Dm~''DD, a peculiarly abundant rain, as is usual in a thunderstorm. 
The connexion of two synonymes in the stat. constr. is of itself 
emphatic, e. g., Ps. 40 : 3 ; and D;^^ differs from 1£0D, so that the 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 10. 129 

latter signifies rain in general, the former a violent rain. The 
phrase, " every one," &,c., indicates the extent of the blessing, 
which is not limited, as is usually the case with thundershowers, 
to one particular place. 30^ , according to several interpreters, com- 
prehends in a more general sense all that serves for the nourishment 
of man, and so it is certainly found in some passages in Genesis. 
But the later usage, and particularly the comparison of the cited 
passage of Deuteronomy, where the Dtyj; is limited to the food of 
beasts, shows that the prophet mentions one species, only as a part 
for the whole. Michaelis and Rosenmiiller erroneously take JT^b^a 
as a periphrasis of the genitive. The comparison with the cited 
passage of Deuteronomy shows, that nTEf3 is to be connected not 
with ^^V, but with |n\ The field (which belongs to the man) is 
i. q. hiis field, comp. '"[iti^a. 

V. 2. " For the teraphim speak nothingness, and the soothsayers 
see lies, and the dreams speak vanity ; falsely do they console ; 
therefore do they wander as a flock ; arc harassed because they have 
no shepherds." "'5 does not refer to v. 1 alone, but to the whole 
compass of the divine promises contained in the preceding context. 
" I will have compassion on my people and abundantly bless them ; 
for now they have fallen into great distress by their apostasy from 
me." '3 consequently gives the reason of the divine assistance ; the 
misery and necessities of the people, whom God for the sake of" his 
covenant, sealed with blood," can never forsake. The phrase, " for 
the teraphim speak, &c., therefore," is i. q. " for because," &c. The 
verbs U'?J, ^^n, r3"i, most interpreters regard as proper preterites, 
alleging that the manifestations of apostasy from God here describ- 
ed, belong rather to the period before, than after the exile. For the 
refutation of this view, an appeal to ^"i3n^ and JJ.']^ would not be 
sufficient. The fvt. not unfrequenlly expresses the idea of custom, 
even in the case of actions, which, frequently repeated in former 
times, have now ceased, comp. Ewald, p. 527. But a sufficient ob- 
jection is furnished by ^1pD^^ in v. 3, which cannot be understood 
otherwise, than as a proper /wt As the punishment of the M'icked 
shepherds is there predicted as future, so the misery of the people, 
caused indirectly by the shepherds, directly by their own apostasy 
from God, cannot possibly be considered as already past. The prae- 
ters are accordingly to be taken as prophetic prseters. But the 
inquiry now arises, how the prophet could place in the future, man- 
ifestations of apostasy from God, which^ according to the testimony 

VOL. II. 17 

130 ZECHARIAH Chap. 10. 

of history, hardly appeared any more in the present, (comp. never- 
theless the accounts of false prophets even in the new colony, Neh. 
6: 10, &-C., and the mention of conjurors, Mai. 3: 12,) but on the 
contrary had been of frequent occurrence in the past. That that 
solution of the difficulty, which assumes as an account of it, that the 
second part was composed before the exile, is not the true one, ap- 
pears, apart from every thing else, even from the verbal agreement 
of this passage with several of Ezekiel and Jeremiah, whom Zech- 
ariah most frequently imitates, comp. e. g. Jer. 27 : 9, " And ye shall 
not hearken to your prophets, and your soothsayers, and your dream- 
ers, and your augurs, and your magicians." 29 : 8, " Let not your 
prophets and your soothsayers deceive you, and ye shall not hearken 
to the dreams which ye dream." Ez. 21 : 34, " While the false proph- 
ets see for thee a nullity, and while the soothsayers prophecy for thee 
lies." 22 : 28, " They see a nullity and prophesy to thee lies." 34 :7, 
" See ye not vain visions, and speak lying prophecies ? " The true 
explanation is this. Shortly before, and during the exile, in the most 
calamitous times of the state, false prophets in greater numbers than 
at any former period appeared in Jerusalem, as well as among the 
exiles ; and the willing obedience, which the people rendered to them, 
was one chief cause of their misery. By foretelling nothing but pros- 
perity, they effaced the impressions, which the threatening predic- 
tions of the true prophets had made, whom they endeavoured to rep- 
resent as gloomy fanatics, and therefore hindered the people from that 
conversion, which was the only means of their deliverance. Jer. 23 : 
9, 10, brings against the priests and false prophets the charge, that, 
through their guilt, the whole land was filled with crimes and curs- 
ings. " They strengthen," he says, v. 14, " the hands of the evil- 
doers, that they repent not." " From the prophets of Jerusalem," 
he complains, v. 15, " crime has gone out over the whole land." 
Now Zechariah, who had taken for his model chiefly the prophecies 
of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and to whom the fearful effects of this 
manifestation of the apostasy were so obvious, represents under its 
image that, which in future times should lead the people away from 
the law of God, and cause them to apostatize from him. That this 
supposition is entirely natural is evident even from the analogies in 
this chapter alone. What is it else, e g., when, v. 10, Egypt is 
used to designate the land from which the covenant people shall at 
a future period be brought back? Or when, according to v. 11, God 
conducts Israel anew through the Red Sea ? Is not the future here 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 10. 131 

also represented under the image of the past, which is essentially 
identical with it, and only differs in its individual character 1 — The 
teraphim (corap. Jahn, Archdol. III. p. 504,) occur for the last time, 
before we meet with them in this passage, in Ezek. 21 : 26, where 
the king of Babylon, uncertain what resolution to form, consults 
them. Among the Hebrews, they were intermediate beings, by 
which they sought to learn the future from Jehovah ; the consulta- 
tion of them, therefore, did not involve total idolatry. This appears 
from Judges 17 : 5, comp. with 18 : 5, 6 ; Hos. 3 : 4. This remark 
makes the passage harmonize with those of Jeremiah and Ezekiel 
concerning the false prophets shortly before and during the exile, in 
which they always appear as those, who prophesied falsely in the 
name of Jehovah, and not in the name of a strange God. As inter- 
mediate beings, the teraphim in every religion to which they belong, 
must have a different place and import. Among the different senses 
of px, that oi nullity, the ground meaning, must here be assumed on 
account of the three following names, which correspond with it. Nul- 
lity ; prophecies followed by no corresponding result, especially prom- 
ises of a happy future, by which they deceive their votaries. They see 
lies. Zechariah, even when speaking of the false prophets, employs 
the verb, which designates the peculiar form in which the true 
prophets received their revelations, (comp. Vol. I. p. 221,) because 
the false hypocritically imitated the ixaraaig of the true ; and of this 
they were sometimes perfectly aware, and at others more or less 
unconscious. In like manner, Ezekiel in the cited passages ; the 
creation of the objects of their vision by their own agency, while 
they were presented by God to the inward eye of the true prophets, 
he designates, chap. 13: 2, by the appellation, "prophets out of 
their own heart;" comp. v. 3, "They walk according to their heart, 
and according to that which they have not seen." — nioSn is not 
to be connected with the xiB^n in the stat. constr. after the Syriac 
and several later interpreters, partly on account of the accents, 
partly on account of the parallelism, which requires that N.lti'n should 
correspond with |ix and '^'^M- Just as little can we, with some 
other interpreters, take niDbn. in the sense dreamers. The word 
never occurs besides in this sense, and the parallel passage, Jer. 
27: 9, shows, that here also the usual meaning, dreams, is the true 
one. Dreams are personified, and made to speak. The article in 
><\^n points to the contrast with another kind of dreams, those which 
speak the truth. — |?~^.l^ therefore, viz. because they give themselves 

132 ZECHARIAH Chap. 10. 

up to these lying prophets, and, confirmed by them in their false 
security, are kept from conversion, the condition of all Theocratic 
blessings. — The verb >'DJ, to depart, here especially of the straying 
of sheep from their protecting folds, and of their dispersion, comp. 
Jer. 50 : 6, " My people are like perishing sheep, whose shepherds 
lead them astray ; they make them wander on the mountains, they 
go from mountain to hill, and forget their folds." — Because they 
have no shepherd, i. e. no one who really deserves this name, who 
discharges the duties of his office. For it appears from v. 3, that 
the people should not be without shepherds, though they rather de- 
served the name of wolves. 

V, 3. " 3Iy anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will 
punish the he-goats ; fur the Lord of hosts visits his flock, the house 
of Judah, and makes them like his parade-horse m war." The mis- 
erable condition of the people, their destitution of shepherds, had 
been represented in the preceding verse as their own fault. But 
the Lord hero promises, notwithstanding, that he will deliver them 
from their wicked leaders, the culpable instruments of their punish- 
ment. Very properly Calviu : " Hinc apparet, quam cara sit dec 
salus hominum, quoniam vindictam denuntiat pastoribus, qui tamen 
non ezercuerant tyrannidem suam, nisi erga homines dignos tali 
pana. Fuit enim hcsc justa merces scelerum, quod dominus voluit 
grassari lupos pastorum loco. Sed quanquam tale supplicivm meriti 
essent Judcei, deus tamen irascitur pastoribus, quoniam in genere 
semper solicitus est dc sua ccclesia. — Deo enim semper adoptio sua 
pretiosa est : quoniam dignatus fuerat populum ilium eligere, fieri 
aliter non potuit, quin ruinam ejus indigne ferret." The interpre- 
ters hesitate whether by the shepherds to understand merely the civil 
magistrates, or at the same time, the spiritual leaders of the people. 
It is true, that both sometimes occur combined under this appella- 
tion (comp. chap. 11:8); here, however, the prophet seems, like 
Ezekiel and Jeremiah, (comp. e. g. chap. 23, where the prophet, v. 
1-8, threatens the wicked shepherds, the kings, and magistrates, 
then, V. 9 to the end, the false prophets, and the wicked priests, as 
the second cause of the calamities of the people,) in most passages 
to have in view only the former. This appears from the antithesis 
in V. 4, where the discourse relates only to able civil and military 
leaders, which the Lord would give to the people instead of their 
former base ones. It is also evident from the expression, " They are 
harassed, because they have no shepherd," where by the ^2 the evil 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 10. 133 

shepherds are represented as the direct, and by the p'V the lying 
prophets, or generally the evil spiritual rulers of the people, as the 
indirect cause of their misery. Comp. Num. 27 : 17 ; Ezek. 34: 5. 
Finally, the figurative representation of the deliverance of the 
flock, by freeing them from their evil shepherds, is very common in 
Ezekiel and Jeremiah, and probably derived from them by Zecha- 
riah ; comp. e. g. Jer. 23, where the Lord promises to punish the 
shepherds, to collect the flock from their dispersion in all lands, 
and give them good shepherds, at last the Messiah ; Ezek. 34 : 10, 
where God delivers the flock out of the hand of their evil shepherds, 
and now undertakes to be himself their shepherd. We have here 
only still to inquire, whether we are to refer this with Mark, Michae- 
lis, and others, to native, or with Drusius, Jahn, Koster (1. c. p. 172), 
to foreign, evil magistrates. That the latter were chiefly intended 
is at least highly probable from the emphatic contrast in v. 4, where 
a prominence entirely peculiar is given to the thought, that the new 
leaders provided for the people by God would be out of the midst of 
them. Accordingly prophecy and fulfilment most accurately coin- 
cide, although in the time of the latter, native evil rulers of the peo- 
ple also were not wanting. — By the he-goats, according to Jahn, in 
the antithesis with the shepherds, are meant the inferior officers of 
the people ; but the he-goats are plainly only a different figurative 
designation of the same persons. The image is taken from the he- 
goats which march at the head of the flocks, comp. Jer. 50 : 8, 
Avhere the leaders are admonished, " Be as the he-goats before the 
flocks." Is. 14 : 9. In a manner entirely similar, Ezek. 34: 17, 18, 
announces, that God would judge between the sheep and the he- 
goats, and deliver the former from the injustice of the latter. The 
verb lp_3 with S^', " to visit for punishment," with the ace. ; to visit 
only to benefit. "'3 gives the reason of the punishment to be inflicted 
on the evil rulers. It is the tender care of the Lord for his people, 
and his will to deliver them from their misery. They are his flock ; 
therefore he can no longer suffer them to be ruined by evil shep- 
herds. — The last member is explained by Jonathan, Jarchi, Kim- 
chi, Jahn, and others : " He makes them like a horse whose excel- 
lence is in war, therefore like an excellent war-horse." But the 
interpretation, " he makes them his parade-horse in war," has in its 
favor not only the accents, but also, what is of considerable impor- 
tance in the prophecy of Zechariah, the great boldness and sublimity 
of the figure. Judah is here, in the war which the Lord carries on 

134 ZECHARIAH Chap. 10 

against the oppressors of his people, his stately, richly-ornamented 
war-horse, just as before Judah was his bow, and Ephraim his arrow. 
D frequently stands, where an object is to be represented, not as 
different from that compared with it, but rather as perfectly corre- 
sponding to its idea without in such a case losing the nature of a 
particle of comparison, since it even compares the object with the 
idea. Thus e. g. Is. 1:7, " Desolation is as a devastation by stran- 
gers," although the predicted desolation itself was to be effected by 
external enemies, v. 8, " Jerusalem is as a besieged city ; " although 
Jerusalem appeared to the prophet, not, as is commonly and errone- 
ously supposed, to the outward senses, but to the inward contempla- 
tion, as besieged. A parade-horse, Tin D-lD, is a select horse, such 
as an earthly king is accustomed to ride in war, stately by nature, 
and decorated with costly housings and other ornaments. 

V. 4. " Out of the midst of him will he the corner-stone, out of 
him will he the fire and battle-hoiv, out of him will come forth every 
ruler." That the sujf. in li^n does not refer to God, as some inter- 
preters suppose, but to Judah, is evident even from the parallel pas- 
sage, Jer. 30: 21, " And his mighty one shall be out of him, and 
his ruler shall go forth from the midst of him," which the prophet 
here had plainly in view. The sense is. Having attained to perfect 
freedom by the help of the Lord, who gives victory to their arms, 
they shall now receive rulers and magistrates from among them- 
selves, and an independent power in war, and, while they were for- 
merly a prey to foreign conquerors, they shall now inspire even 
foreign nations with terror. — The senses of niS are thus arranged 
by Winer. 1, Angulus. 2. Turris muralis. Nam in angulis mu- 
rorum exstrui solehant turres et propugnacula. 3. Vir princeps, 
qui est propugnacula, dux. But this arrangement is evidently 
wrong. The frequent figurative designation of princes, or rulers of 
the people, by corner or corner-stone, is rather grounded on the 
comparison of the state with a building, which rests on the prince 
as its corner-stone. This is evident from passages, like Ps. 118:22, 
" The stone which the builders rejected, has become the corner- 
stone ; " Is. 28 : 16, " I lay in Zion a precious corner-stone," The 
assertion also of Gesenius {in loco), is not altogether correct, that 
n:3 in such a case signifies exactly a corner-stone, and therefore 
stands for nJDn |3X, or HiSn t^xS. The whole is rather put for the 
part which it includes ; we must not, however, on that account 
regard both as being verbally the same. We have already met with a 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 10. 135 

similar misconception in respect to the corners of the altar, ch. 9 : 16, 
and it frequently occurs in the interpreters, e. g. in the supposition 
that ly^^ti', root, in Isaiah, sometimes signifies exactly root-sprortt. 
The opposite of what Isaiah here predicts to Judah, Jeremiah 
(51 : 26,) predicts to Babylon: " They will no more take from thee a 
stone for a corner, and a stone for a foundation ; " on which Michaelis 
justly remarks : " Scttsus : non erit ampUus de gente Clial(l<xorum, qui 
reijjublica; sustentaculum, h. e. rex aut pi'inceps futurus sit." The 
erroneousness of the supposition of JNIark, that TMiii here, as in some 
other passages, signifies works of defence built in the corners of the 
walls, appears from this and the other parallel passages of Jeremiah, 
already cited, and moreover from nn;., which necessarily requires to 
be figuratively understood. This latter word has been very strik- 
ingly explained by Lowth on Is. 22 : 23, where it is said of Eliakim, 
" I drive him in as a peg in a firm place, — and they hang upon it 
all the splendor of his father's house." It is customary in the East 
to furnish the inside of apartments with rows of large nails, or pegs, 
which are wrought into the wall when it is built, (comp. Chardin, in 
Harmer's Observations, III. p. 49.) On these firm nails, already 
prepared, they hang all kinds of household stufF. They serve, there- 
fore, as a suitable image of those men who are the supports and 
pillars of the whole being of the state. On the contrary, this pas- 
sage of Isaiah, as well as the one before us, has been strangely mis- 
understood by Gesenius. " "ip;," he says, " nail or peg, stands here 
precisely for a firm dwelling-place, Ezr. 9 : 8, Zech. 10 : 4." — But 
how can a man drive a firm dwelling-place into a firm place ! How 
would this suit v. 24, where it is said of Shebna : " Then shall the 
peg, driven into a firm place, give way, and it shall be cut off, and 
fall, and the whole burden, which hangs upon it, breaks." How can 
even the most superficial observer find the sense, " firm dwelling- 
place," suitable in the passage before us ? Parallel also is Ezek. 
15 : 3, where the prophet, comparing Israel with the wild vine, says, 
" Can one take from it a peg in order to hang thereon all instru- 
ments ? " On the contrary, those passages have an entirely differ- 
ent character, where images are taken from the pegs with which the 
tent is fastened. The tcar-bozv stands here for the military power, 
or the apparatus bellicus in general. Thus not unfrequently, " to 
break the bow," or " strike it out of the hand," for " to deprive one 
of his armour and weapons." 1 Sam. 2:4; Ezek. 39 : 3; Hos. 1 : 5. 
— According to the usual opinion of interpreters, i^'JU here stands 

136 ZECHARIAH Chap. 10. 

in a good sense for regent. But the passages appealed to are not con- 
clusive. Is. 3: 5, 12, the word is plainly used of tyrannical rulers, 
and Is. 60 : 17, " I establish thy magistrates for peace, and thy 
rulers ']''.^_^^ , for righteousness," plainly refers to the former tyranni- 
cal rulers, as appears from the immediately preceding, "instead of 
brass, I bring gold ; instead of iron, silver." There is not, how- 
ever, the smallest reason here to relinquish the usual sense, if we 
only refer the hardness and severity expressed by the word, not to 
the covenant people, but to their enemies. Rightly, Calvin : " Poti- 
entur imperio contra vicinos, et exigent ah illis tributum, aut vecti- 
gal, gucmadmodum victores solent a subditis." Similar is Isaiah 
14 : 2, " They take captive those who led them captive, and rule 
over their tyrants." It is in favor of this interpretation, that what 
follows then becomes appropriate. 

V. 5. " And they are heroes trampling on the mire of the streets 
in war, and they fight, for the Lord is toith them, and the horsemen 
are put to shame." 2 stands here again as in v. 3. Thus, even in 
prose, Neh. 7:2," he is as a true man," i. q. he corresponds to the 
idea, he is the lively image, of a true man. "lyn D'D^ D'Ql'a, sev- 
eral translate, as Calvin, Mark, Michaelis, " treading (viz. their 
enemies) in the dirt of the streets." The latter is regarded as a 
part for the whole, to designate all the hindrances and difficulties 
which the covenant people with great perseverance would overcome. 
Against this interpretation, besides the great feebleness of the sense, 
is the parallel passage, Mic. 7 : 10, where the dirt of the streets 
appears as an image of the enemies themselves, with only this dif- 
ference, that in Micah, they are compared therewith, (" Mine eyes 
behold my enemies, now will they be trampled upon as dirt of the 
streets,") while the bolder Zechariah designates them directly as 
such. The passage has actually been so -Understood by not a few 
older interpreters, as Jonathan, Theodoret, Cyril, Grotius ; and this 
interpretation, especially as it is confirmed also by chap. 9 : 15, 
" they trample on sling-stones," would certainly have been generally 
adopted, if the construction of the verb D-n with a following 5, while 
it elsewhere always takes the accus., had not made a difficulty. The 
way in which "Gesenius, in his Thesaurus, solves this difficulty : 
" Et erunt instar heroiim, qui hastes concukant in bello, sicut, 2 pro 
D, lutum platearum," is not suited to increase the advocates of this 
interpretation. The true one is rather the following, on stands 
here, not, as commonly, in a transitive, but an intransitive sense ; 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 10. 137 

properly they tread down, or they tread about, on the dirt of the 
streets. In the same manner, Ps. 49: 15, the elsewhere transitive 
synonyme nnn is connected with r of the person, D3 TT^^l, " they will 
tread about upon them." Here the intransitive meaning is indicated 
by the form itself The participial form Dip is not, as is commonly 
supposed and even by Ewald, p. 406, an unusual contraction of the 
part, trans., but it is a participial form of the intransitive Kal. This 
is evident from the fact that it occurs only in intransitive verbs, e. g. 
SJ'iJ, "iTx, Dip. The only forms where it is supposed to occur in a 
transitive sense, 'HIJ, Ps. 22: 10, and ^nJ, Ps. 71 : 6, rest, as may 
easily be shown, on a false interpretation. The verb nu never 
occurs, not even in Mic. 4 : 10, in a traiisitive sense, and therefore, 
even in the cited passage, nj cannot be understood as ^ part, "tu is 
not to be derived from T-lJ, but from nn, (comp. Gesenius and Winer 
s. v.) — In IDD^.J, "they war," there is a contrast with the hitherto 
passive conduct of the covenant people, their passive subjugation. 
Now by the aid of the Lord brave warriors are formed from despised 
slaves. On the contrary, their oppressors, hitherto the proud hostile 
horsemen, are covered with shame and disgrace. The appropriate- 
ness of the latter antithesis makes it proper to understand •li^''in in- 
transitively, with all ancient translators ; and it occurs also, chap. 
9: 5, and below, v. 11. The cavalry in Dan. 11 : 40, also is desig- 
nated as the chief strength of the host of the Grecian ruler of Sy- 
ria, viz. Antiochus Epiphanes. 

V. 6. " And I strengthen the house of Jtidah and give prosperity 
to the house of Joseph, and I make them dwell; for I have compas- 
sion on them, and they shall be as though I had not cast them away, 
for I am the Lord their God and will hear them.'^ The relation in 
which this promise stands to the circumstances of Zechariah's time 
is well developed by Calvin: ^^Prosequitur Zach. eandem doctri- 
nam, netnpe opus illud redemtionis, cujiis principium cernebant Jud(pi, 
nonfore mutilum, quia dominus tandem implebit, qxiod ccepit facere. 
Neque enim poterant Judmi in illis principiis, quce vix 
centesima ex parte respondebatd promissionihus dei. — Ergo in eo 
nunc insistit propheta, ut Judcci patienter quiescant, donee tcmpus 
maturuni advencrit, quo dominus ostcndat, se non aliqua tantum ex 
parte, sed in solidum popuU sui esse redemtorem." D^nnivin is taken 
by most interpreters after Kimchi and Abenezra, as a forma mixta 
from 0"'nb'!/;n, Hiph. of 2W, and D'nDK'in, Hiph. of iB';. The 
prophet by means of this artful combination is supposed to express 

VOL. II. 18 

138 ZECHARIAH Chai'. 10. 

with one word, what Jeremiah, 32 :37, has expressed by a whole sen- 
tence : pmS D-'jT^pK'n] nm m'p^n-Sx D^nh'c/ni. This supposition has, 
it is true, in its favor the constant effort at brevity perceptible in 
Zechariah in relation to the parallel passages in the older prophets, 
as an effect of which this strange combination need not surprise us, 
especially if we take into view the time of Zechariah ; although no 
examples besides of any such mixed form occur. But, nevertheless, 
another reason proves those to be correct, who assert that Zechariah, 
by a permutation of the verbs U' with those ''D, peculiar to that late 
period, has employed this anomalous form, instead of the regular 
D^n^ii^in, (comp. Ewald, p. 489.) The mention of the return, in 
particular, is here out of place; the representation of it does not 
begin till v. 8 ; here the prophet still speaks of Judah and Israel in 
connexion ; the former had already returned ; only to the latter, 
most of whom at least still continued in exile, is the return promised 
in what follows. The verb to dwell is especially emphatic. Hith- 
erto the covenant people in their own land, under a foreign domin- 
ion, had been as strangers. Now, for the first time after their 
oppressors are vanquished and driven out, shall they become prop- 
erly dwellers and possessors, as they had been in the times before 
the exile. Similar is Ezek. 36: 11, "I make you to dwell as in 
your former time, and do you good as in your past time." " And 
they shall be," " and I will hear them," is the looser Hebrew con- 
nexion for, " therefore shall they be, therefore will I hear them." 
God's compassionate benevolence, and his covenant relation to the 
people of Israel, are the ground of their deliverance, comp. Is. 41:17, 
"I, Jehovah, (the Theocratic name of God,) will hear them. I, the 
God of Israel, will not forsake them." 

V. 7. " And Ephraim is as a hero, and their heart rejoices as 
tcine, and their sons see it and rejoice, their heart exidts in the 
Lord.'^ The prophet, from this verse onward, occupies himself ex- 
clusively with Ephraim. At first he promises that descendants also 
of the citizens of the former kingdom of the ten tribes, shall parti- 
cipate in the glorious struggle ; he then gives the greater promise^ 
that, after this struggle, the large mass of the people also, who dur- 
ing its continuance were still scattered in all lands, should return 
to their native country, and to their ancient covenant relation to the 
Lord. That the prophet occupies himself so earnestly and fully with 
Ephraim, is explained, as Calvin rightly saw, only by the circum- 
stances of the time in which he lived. Had the predictions of the 

ZECHARIAH Chap 10. 139 

older prophets in reference to Judah then first begun to be fulfilled, 
and did they therefore need, in ord6r that the people might not be- 
lieve themselves deceived, to be resumed ; much more was this the 
case in regard to those which related to Ephraim. The great mass 
of this tribe were still in exile, although a -part of them had joined 
themselves to the returning Jews, (comp. Jahn, Archdol. 2, 1, p. 
236 sq.,) and the hope of the great future restoration, promised by 
the prophets, had only a weak point of connexion with the present. 
— With respect to " as wine," comp. what has been said on 9 : 15. 
A similar merely suggested comparison is, " as potash," Is. 1 : 25, 
for " as potash purifies," comp. other examples in Ewald, p. 614. 
That the sons of the Ephraimites should participate in their prosperi- 
ty, shows that it was not to be merely of a short duration. As the 
object of •IX"^';, the whole contents of the foregoing prediction of pros- 
perity are to be supplied. The construction of the verb S'J with 3 
is explained by the circumstance, that the joy is considered as de- 
pending on the Lord, 

V. 8. The prophet now proceeds from that portion of the Ephraim- 
ites, who should take part in the struggle of the Jews against the 
Greeks, to the far greater portion, who at that time were still in 
exile. — " I loill hiss to them and collect them, for I have redeemed 
them, and they become numerous, as they were before.^' The figure 
of hissing is taken from the bee-master, who, by means of a whistle, 
calls the swarms of bees out of and into their hives, comp. Lowth 
on Is. 5 : 26. The meaning of the figure in the passage is well un- 
folded by Calvin : " Per verbiim sihilandi intelligit Sack., non fore 
opus hoc arduiim deo, sicuti solemns metiri ejus opera, scnsu carnis nos- 
tra'. Qiium ergo Judceis objicere promtum esset, per varias terras et 
sub divcrsis gentibus fratres suos esse dispersos, ita ut collectio mi- 
nime esset crcdibilis, propheta occurrit dicens ; solo sibilo vel solo nutu 
deum posse ipsos reducere in patriam, — utcunque totus mundus co- 
rum reditum impediat. Cohjungi ergo debent hmc duo verba : Sibilabo 
illis et congregabo eos : quasi dixisset illis Sach., sufficere deo solum 
niitiivi, idn volet populum suum colligere." — '■'' For I have redeemed 
than." This is to be understood of the divine counsel. As soon as 
this has once been taken, nothing can hinder the execution. The 
question now arises respecting the restoration here mentioned. Gro- 
tius supposes, that the prophet here announces that the victory of 
the Maccabees, and the happy condition of the land afterwards, will 
be to many of the Israelites, still in a strange land, an inducement to 

140 ZECHARIAH Chap. 10. 

return. But the sense of the promise, which is far more comprehen- 
sive is hereby, to say the least, not exhausted, especially as, v. 9, the 
return of the exiles is placed in close connexion with their conver- 
sion. The return of the ten tribes always belongs in the prophets 
to the Messianic hopes. We must, therefore, with Calvin, Mark, 
and others, assume that the prophet, chiefly at least, had in view 
here the reception of the Israelites into the Theocracy by Christ. 
That this was represented by a return to Palestine, the seat of the 
Theocracy at the time of the prophet, is justified by the general 
character of the prophetic discourse, and is particularly free from 
difficulty in the case of one with whom this figure, in general, so 
much prevails, (comp. e. g. v. II.) Appropriately Calvin: " Sig- 
nificat propheta, Christum sic fore caput ecclesice, ut colligat ex 
omnibus terrte partibns Jiidceos, qui prius dispersi fiierant : aique 
ita extcndatur restitutio promissn ad omnes tribus." 

V. 9. " And I 2oin sow them among the nations, and in distant 
lands will they remember me, and with their children live again and 
return." — The exile, which seemed to be a sign of the perpetual 
rejection of Israel, shall be a direct means of his conversion and 
restoration. This Moses had already prophesied, Deut. 4 : 27 sq., 
" The Lord will scatter you among the nations. — And ye will there 
serve strange gods. — Finally, however, ye will seek the Lord your 
God, and find him, because ye will seek him with all the heart, and 
all the soul. In thy distress thou wilt at a future period return to 
the Lord." In like manner, Ezek. 6: II, "And they that escape 
of you shall remember me among the nations, whither they shall be 
carried captive, — and loathe themselves on aacount of the evil that 
they have done, — and know that I-am the Lord." This prophecy, 
which, in reference to the Jews, had already in part been fulfilled 
by the change of mind they experienced in the exile, and by the 
return which resulted from it, the prophet here resumes in reference 
to the Israelites. The verb jni is frequently used of the dispersion 
of the covenant people as a punishment. We cannot, however, be 
satisfied with this meaning here ; the context and parallelism require 
that the words, and I will sow them, should contain, at least, at the 
same time something of a joyful character. The dispersed Israelites, 
who are hereafter to be still more scattered, shall be a seed sown of 
God, which will bring forth rich fruits. An entirely similar double 
sense, " God will disperse," and " God will sow," is found in the name 
Jezreel, which Hosea gives to one of his sons, the type of the Israel- 

ZECHARIAir Chap. 10. 141 

itish people, comp. 1:4, 2 : 24. Worthy of remark is the predic- 
tion here, which has been confirmed by the result of a still wider 
dispersion of the Israelites than that which then happened. In the 
expression, and they live, the image is intimated in one word, which 
Ezekiel, chap. 37, has so well carried out; comp. e. g. v. 14, "And 
I put my spirit within you, and ye revive, and I make you rest in 
your land." The often misinterpreted phrase, tvith your c/nldren, 
designates here also, as v. 7, the permanency of the benefit. This 
is shown by the parallel passage of Ezek. 37: 25, "And they in- 
habit the land, which I have given to my servant Jacob, they and 
their cliildren, and their children's children for e/ver." 

V. 10. " And I bring them back out of the land of Egypt, and 
out of A&hw loill I collect them, and to the land of Gilead and Leb- 
anon will I bring them, and they shall find no room." This verse 
is an individualization of the foregoing. The interpreters here find 
a difliculty in the mention of Egypt as a land out of which the 
exiles shall be brought back, while no carrying away of the citizens 
of the kingdom of the ten tribes to Egypt can be pointed out in 
history. Most assume, that, at the destruction of this kingdom by 
the Assyrians, many of its inhabitants fled into Egypt, to avoid be- 
ing carried away. It is, however, a suspicious circumstance, that 
history is entirely silent on this point. But, although the fact were 
conceded, still this passage cannot be referred to it. The comparison 
of V. 11, particularly shows, that the Egyptians, as well as the Assy- 
rians, must be regarded as powerful oppressors of the Israelites, 
while, in the case supposed, they must have given the Israelites a 
hospitable reception. It therefore only remains for us to assume, 
that Egypt is here mentioned because it was the first land in which 
the Israelites had suffered an oppressive captivity, (comp. Is. 52 : 4, 
" My people went down in the beginning to Egypt, in order to dwell 
there, and Ashur did them violence in the end,") that it is a fio-ura- 
tive designation of the lands, in which the ten tribes were in exile 
at the time of the prophet, and would be at a future period. The 
transition to this mode of representation, appears in passages like Is. 
10 : 24, " Fear not, my people, before Ashur, who smites thee with a 
staff and raises his rod against thee as Egypt," Dn:^D ':]'^^5. As now 
it was the constant practice of the prophets, and the poets gener- 
ally, to place the comparison instead of the thing compared, the 
transition was easy to the representation which prevails in the pas- 
sage before us. In favor of it, however, not only analogie.s, (comp. 

142 ZECHARIAH Chap. 10. 

Vol. I. p. 231, and above, on chap. 5 : 10,) but even passages can 
be produced, where Egypt itself is placed in a manner entirely simi- 
lar. The two most remarkable are Hosea 8 : 13, " Now will he 
remember their sins and punish their misdeeds ; they shall return to 
Egypt." Chap. 9:3," They shall not dwell in the land of the Lord, 
and Ephraim turns back to Egypt, and in Ashur they shall eat what 
is unclean." It is obvious that here, the lands into which the Israel- 
ites should in future be carried away captive, are figuratively desig- 
nated by Egypt, a land in which they had at first been reduced to 
bondage, and a return to which could not have been in the mind of 
the prophet, who anticipated danger only from the Assyrians. It is 
further remarkable, that the prophet, chap. 9 : 6, extending the im- 
age even farther, names Memphis as a city where the Israelites 
would find their grave. — If now it is established, that Zechariah 
in this place does not mean Egypt proper, so neither by Ashur 
connected therewith, here and v. 11, are we to understand any par- 
ticular kingdom. Ashur is rather, in like manner, a figurative de- 
signation of those kingdoms in which the Israelites were in exile 
during the time of the prophet, and would be at a future period. 
This demonstration, however, does not entirely invalidate the proof, 
which has been derived from the passage before us, against the 
integrity of Zechariah, (comp. e.g. Bertholdt, Einl. IV. p. 1714.24.) 
The question still arises, how a prophet, after the captivity, could 
choose the Egyptians and Assyrians as the type of the oppressors of 
his people, while he omitted the Chaldeans, who had been their most 
destructive enemies. This difficulty would be invincible, if the proph- 
et were here speaking of the Jews alone, or even merely of the whole 
of the covenant people. When, e. g. Is. 27: 13, it is said, "The ex- 
iles in the land of Ashur, and the banished in the land of Egypt, 
come and pray before the Lord on the holy mountain of Jerusalem," 
although Egypt and Ashur are here in like manner typical, as Gese- 
nius very justly remarks, (" instead of the different lands of the 
world in which the Jews have been scattered, Assjria and Egypt are 
here mentioned,") yet Kleinert is in the right, (on the Genuineness of 
Is., I. p. 317 sq.,) when he considers this passage as an incontrovert- 
ible proof against the composition of the whole portion, chap. 24 -27, 
in the exile, and in favor of its gennineness. Or when, Isaiah 
19 : 23 sq., Egypt and Ashur are mentioned as the two kingdoms 
heretofore most hostile to the covenant people, and to one another, 
which in the time of the Messiah should be clcsely united with the 


ZECHARlAll Chap. 10. 143 

covenant people, and with one another, by the common worship of 
the Lord, and live in the most peaceful intercourse ; so is the gen- 
uineness of this portion, oven tliereby, sufficiently established. But 
in the passage before us the difficulty is only apparent. The 
speaks solely of the Ephraimites. For them Egypt and Assyria 
had actually been exclusively the most dangerous enemies of former 
time ; therefore they only, and not the Chaldeans, who did not make 
their appearance until the extinction of the kingdom of the ten tribes, 
were suited to be a type of their enemies in general. Zechariah 
here occupies the same point of view as Hosea, who, chap. 11 : 11, 
in reference to the Israelites, prophesies, " they will return out of 
Egypt and Ashur." Finally, the prophet certainly had directly 
before his eyes the cited passages, in which Egypt and Ashur are 
connected in the same relation with each other as here. — The 
whole argument serves at the same time to show how little reason 
there is to protest against understanding the restoration to the prom- 
ised land figuratively. If it cannot be denied that the lands, out of 
which the Israelites are brought back, are to be understood only as 
types, what objection can be urged, if the land to which they shall 
be restored, is, in like manner, regarded as a type? — The land 
of Gilead and Lebanon is here not a designation of the whole prom- 
ised land, as most interpreters suppose, but specially of the former 
country of the ten tribes. This was divided into two parts, that 
beyond the Jordan, the land of Gilead, and that on this side, which 
extended to Libanus, and therefore might suitably receive its name 
from it. — The verb J<i'n occurs also. Num. 11:22, and Josh. 
17 : 16, (comp. Maurer on the passage,) in Kal and Niphal, in the 
sense to suffice, so that it is not necessary here to assume an ellipsis 
{non invenietur cis, sell locus sufficiens) , which is inadmissible in 
those passages. 

V.ll. "And the Lord goes through the ?ea, the distress, and 
smites in the sea the leaves, and all the floods of the Nile are put to 
shame, and the pride of Ashur is overthrotvn, and the staff of Egypt 
shall yield." The former deliverances of the covenant people serv- 
ed them as a pledge of those that were future ; since they revealed, at 
the same time, the power and the will of the Lord to help them, 
who is at all times the same. Nothing, therefore, is more natural 
than that the prophet in the description of the future should bring to 
memory the past, and thus, as it were, call upon the Lord, not to 
be unlike himself, and also strengthen the faith of the people in the 

144 ZECHARIAH Chap. 10. 

promises which contradicted indeed the appearance of things. This 
frequently happens when the past and future are brought into com- 
parison, comp. e. g. Is. 51 : 9, " Awake, put on strength, thou arm 
of Jehovah, awake as the days of former times, as the ancient gen- 
erations." — " Art thou not it who driedst up the sea, the water of 
the great deep, who the depths of the sea for a way on 
which the redeemed went through 1 " But, in like manner also, they 
often employed the past as a type for the future ; they frequently trans- 
ferred the former in its individual character to the latter, which is 
explained partly from the flowing together of figure and reality, 
proper to poetry in general, and partly from the nature of prophecy 
in particular. Thus it is said, Jer. 31 : 2, " The people find 
favor in the wilderness, who remain of the sword ; the Lord goes to 
bring Israel to rest :" as the Lord once pitied his people, when sorely 
plagued in the wilderness, on account of their continual apostasy, 
and led the remnant of them to Canaan ; so also will he pity them 
in their present distress, of which they are themselves the cause, 
and lead them back into their native land. Thus Hos. 2: 16, 17, 
" I lead her into the wilderness, and speak to her heart, and give 
her her vineyards there, and the valley of Achor, for a door of 
hope ; " for, " as I comforted Israel aforetime in the wilderness by 
promises of prosperity, and then, at the very entrance into the land 
of Canaan, filled them with joyful hopes by a sight of the fruitful 
region : so will I also in the future comfort and richly bless them." 
Especially remarkable, however, is the passage. Is. 11 : 15, 16, which 
Zechariah has so plainly imitated, that it must of itself be sufficient 
to render very suspicious the idea, that the second part was compos- 
ed by an earlier writer, especially as it also serves at the same time 
to prove other later prophets, between whom and Zechariah a simi- 
lar agreement is found, particularly Jeremiah and Ezekiel, to have 
been independent in relation to him, — In reference to the subject 
of 13;^ interpreters are not agreed. Several regard as suc.i n"ji\ So 
Calvin : " transihit in mari affiictio," Fliigge, " a plague passes over 
the sea," against which it is a sufficient objection, that nnv never 
indicates active, but always passive distress. The people is common- 
ly taken as the subject ; then however the change of persons, which 
immediately occurs without any notice, since the following and he 
smites must refer to the Lord, is unnatural. The truth was seen by 
Mark. It is the Lord, who, at the head of the Israelites marches 
boldly through the sea, and strikes down their proud opposers, the 

ZECHARIAII Chap. 10. 145 

roaring waves. " He goes through the field of floods, the victorious 
hero." A complete parallel is furnished by Ps. 114, where the sea, 
as it sees the Lord advance in front of the Israelites, quickly flees, 
the terrified Jordan turns back. It was unnecessary expressly to 
mention the Lord. Him, who was continually present to the soul of 
the prophet, who alone could accomplish such deeds, the only deliv- 
erer of his people. Altogether similar is Is, 2 : 4, Mic, 4:3. In 
respect to the interpretation of n;i^ there is great diversity, though it 
is not difficult, since only one explanation of it can be grammatically 
justified. After the Seventy {ev SaXuaar; azEvfj), Jerome (in maris 
freto), several, even Jahn, connect riVi* with the foregoing D^, in the 
sense nari'oimiess of the sea. But against this the simple grammati- 
cal reason is sufficient, that ^\ could not then have the article, and 
besides, to render prominent the narrowness of the sea, were here 
in the wrong place, since it would rather serve to diminish the 
miracle; lastly, rri^ always occurs of narrowness in a metaphor- 
ical sense, never in a physical. How little in such cases the 
etymology suffices to prove a meaning, may be exemplified by our 
word anguish. Others, as Mark, Koster, (I. c. p. 44,) explain : 
" Jehovah transit per mare cum anxietate." But this interpretation 
belongs to the time when every preposition was supplied at pleasure, 
which was thought to be necessary, and moreover, as has been 
already remarked, n^^ is never spoken of an active, but always of 
a passive oppression. It only remains, therefore, with Ch. B. Mi-ffeA' {wUA 
chaelis, to take n^^ as standing in apposition ; " he goes through^rf f t. _ 
the sea, the distress." It is, therefore, not merely a crude cleaving * i 

to the letter, regardless of all analogy and the whole substance of the 
prophecy, when the Jewish interpreters, as Jerome relates, refer the 
word to a future wonderful passage of the Israelites through the 
strait between Byzantium and Chalcedon ; it is at the same time a 
gross misunderstanding of the letter itself. Finally, the explanation 
of Jonathan (Jient eis miracula ct virtutes, sicut factce sunt patribus 
eorum in mari), shows, that this misunderstanding was not universal, 
even among the Jews. — The article in 0^5 points to a definite sea, 
the Arabian gidf, the same through which the Israelites had already 
once been led, comp. Is. 11 : 15, " The Lord lays a curse upon the 
tongue of the sea of Egypt." — In the words, he smites the waves in 
the sea, a personification of the wave, as the enemy subdued by God, 
lies at the foundation. The words, all the floods of the Nile are 
ashamed, contain a manifest allusion to the passage through the 
VOL, ti. 19 

146 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

Jordan. This comparatively small stream, however, is not sufficient 
for the prophet ; he mentions instead of it the Nile, as Is. 11 : 15, 
the Euphrates. The latter, several interpreters, as Grotius and 
Mark, would here also understand by "tiN; ; Jahn takes it for the 
Jordan. But both suppositions are inadmissible. It is true, that 
Jeor, Job 28 : 10, occurs in the sense stream, in general ; in Dan. 
12 : 5 sq., of the Tigris, But in the passage before us, the omission 
of the article, which is found in Daniel, shows, that the word stands 
as a proper name. As such, however, it can mean only the Nile. — 
That in the last words, Ashur and Egypt, as the most powerful 
oppressors of the Israelites formerly, stand merely as types of their 
tyrannical rulers in general, has already been shown. Parallel pas- 
sages are Is. 10 : 27, 14 : 25, 9 : 3. 

V. 12. " And I strengthen them in the Lord, and in his name 
will they loalk, saith the Lord." In 'r^ip]-y_ the Lord is designated, 
as he on whom the strength of Israel depends. The use of the 
noun instea?d of the pronoun is emphatic. It calls the attention to 
what it means, " to receive strength from the Lord, the Almighty, and 
the living one." The name of the Lord signifies the whole compass 
of his perfections as it is designated by his name, the image and the 
expression of his being. A walking, which is in the name of the 
Lord, is one in which his perfection reveals itself in all its strength. 
Walking, according to the context and parallelism, cannot here 
jS5 .♦^Oii"' «»^ relate to the conduct, but must be taken literally. 


Hitherto had the prophet chiefly (comp. however, chap. 5) copi- 
ed in his prophecies only the joyful side of the great picture of the 
future condition of the covenant people ; here another scene sud- 
denly presents itself, and, in describing it to his hearers and readers, 
he completes the correct, indeed, but partial representation of the 
future, which he had hitherto given, and guards against the abuse 
to which it might be liable by the carnally minded. Very appo- 
sitely Calvin: " Videntur hac inter se pvgnare ; sed oporluit priore 
loco Judccis proponi dei heneficia, id alacrius incumberent ad tem- 
plum fudificandum, et scireut nonfrustra se operam consumere. Mmc 

ZECHARIAH Chap. II. 147 

eliam adjungi oportuit diversam admonitionem, ne hypocrilcc fallaci 
illaritm promissioyiemjiducia obdurescerent, quemadmodiim fieri sold. 
JDeinde ut Jideles sibi meluerent in tempore, atque ita soUiciti incede- 
rent coram deo : quia nihil magis exiiiale est, quam secinitas ; ubi 
enim grassatur peccandi licenlia, impendet dei judicnim." 

The whole portion may be divided into three parts, V. 1- 3, which 
serve as it were for a prelude to the rest, describe the desolation of 
the whole land by foreign foes. The relation of a two fold symbolical 
action of the prophet, which took place in vision, gives a deeper 
insight into the causes of this event. In the first, (v. 4 - 14,) the 
prophet supplies the place of the great angel and revealer of the 
Lord, and typifies his future actions. Israel devoted to destruction 
by the divine decree, appears as a flock destined to the slaughter. 
The prophet makes an attempt to rescue them ; he undertakes the 
office of a shepherd over the poor flock, and labors to deliver them 
from the evil shepherds, who would lead them to destruction. But 
the refractoriness of the shepherds and the flock compels him to 
give up his office, and abandon the flock to the full misery, from 
which they had hitherto been preserved by himself. He now de- 
mands his reward ; they give him the contemptible one of thirty 
pieces of silver. In this way is the last manifestation of the Lord's 
mercy towards his people by the Messiah, and the rejection of him 
typified. The prophet then represents, at the command of the Lord, 
in a second symbolical action, the wicked shepherds, who will con- 
sume and destroy the flock, after the rejection of the good shepherd. 

V. 1. " Open, O Lebanon, thy gates, and let fire devour thy 
cedars." The representation is altogether dramatic. The prophet 
instead of announcing to Lebanon its future desolation, commands 
it to open its gates. Calvin : " Induit personam fecialis, qui minatur 
atque denuntiat, jam adesse idtimam dei vindictam." Gates are 
attributed to Lebanon, as a natural bulwark. Calvin : " Cur autem 
jubeat Libanum siias aperire portas, in promtu est. Paulo post 
vocat sylvam munitam, qua tamcn carebat moenibus et portis." The 
2 shows the material on which the fire operates. The sense there- 
fore is, " Thou, O Lebanon, wilt be stormed and devastated by the 
enemy." The inquiry now arises, whether this verse, as well as the 
following, is to be understood literally or allegorically. The alle- 
gorical interpretation, according to the testimony of Jarchi, Kimchi, 
and Abenezra, is very ancient among the Jews. From a passage 
of the Talmud, (Joma, 390,) it appears, that by Lebanon was 

148 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

understood the temple at Jerusalem. We here cite the remark- 
able passage : " Quadraginta annis ante excidium apertoi sunt 
portcB templi sua sponte. Ohjurgavit igitur eas R. Jodianan Jil. 
Zaccai et dixit : O tcmplum, templum, quarc tu tcrres te ipsum 7 
novi ego, quod Jinis tmis erit, ut desoleris. Nam sic prophetavit de 
te Zacharias, jilius Iddo : Aperi, Lihanc, portas tuas." This open- 
ing of the doors of the temple is mentioned by Josephus (De Bell. 
Jud, 6, 5,) and it is not improbable, that it appeared to him and 
his contemporaries, as so weighty an omen, because the above men- 
tioned interpretation was at that time current. The antiquity of this 
interpretation among the Jews, is proved also by its occurrence in 
several fathers, particularly Eusebins and Jerome, wiio probably bor- 
rowed it from them. The latter remarks : " Apcrit Libamis portas 
snas, ut Romanus intret exercitus, et comedat ignis cedros ejus, ut 
vel incendio cuncta vastentur, vcl hostili impetu duces ac principes 
consumantur." Also among the later interpreters, the reference to 
the temple was retained by several, as e. g. Grotius. Others, on the 
contrary, understand by Lebanon all Jerusalem ; still others, as 
Mark and Eichhorn, all Palestine: " Quam ad partem scptentriona- 
Icm mans iste claudebat, et qua; vere instar Libani erat supra alias 
terras illustris multis viodis." Some more recent critics, as Gese- 
nius, (on Is. 37 : 24,) and Hitzig, (Studien and Critiken, Jahrg. 
1830, p. 33,) proceeding on the false hypothesis of the composition 
of the second part before the exile, take Lebanon as an image of 
the kingdom of the ten tribes. The objection to all these interpre- 
tations, which entirely exclude the literal sense, is, that along with 
Lebanon, other parts also of Palestine are mentioned, and indeed 
in such a manner, that on a hostile invasion the laying waste of 
Lebanon must of course extend to them. This was observed by Eich- 
horn, (Hebr. Propheten, III. p. 380,) although, omitting the proper 
use of this observation, he takes Lebanon again as a designation of 
the whole land. " The devastation prevails through the whole land, 
beyond the Jordan ; it seizes upon the oak forests of Basan, and 
annihilates the pastures; on this side the Jordan, the thicket through 
which the Jordan flows. There the shepherds mourn on account 
of their beautiful pasture grounds; here the lions, for the loss of their 
quiet lairs. Whoever dwells in the land laments." If it is certain 
that Lebanon is mentioned as the northern bulwark of the land, 
which being stormed, it would stand open to the invading enemies, 
(Cocceius: " Liba7wx munimenfum terr^ Canaan versus septentri- 

ZECHARIAHChap. 11. 149 

onem est, unde omne malum ivgruit in JudcBOs,") and the oak 
forests of Basan on the one side, and the shrubbery of the Jor- 
dan on the other, in order to point out that the destroying host 
of enemies spread themselves over the whole land, then can Leba- 
non neither be an image of all Jiulea, nor of the temple, nor of 
Jerusalem, and at the same time, the absurd opinion of Hitzig falls 
to the ground, that the description, v. 1-3, relates to internal dis- 
sensions in the kingdom of the ten tribes. On the other hand, 
however, we must still not so adhere to the literal sense, as to refer 
the hostile devastation, merely to the individual objects mentioned, 
V. 1-3; nay, it does not even imply that all these objects, the cedars 
and cypresses of Lebanon, the oaks of Basan, the shrubbery of 
Jordan, should be actually laid waste during the hostile invasion. 
In such representations, particular instances serve merely to desig- 
nate the whole by an individual example ; a total devastation of the 
land by an invading enemy from the North is the theme, which lies 
at the foundation of the prophet's description, and, in carrying this 
out, he particularly mentions, what is especially distinguished in the 
land. Lebanon, with its proud cedars, must here receive the first 
place, even on account of the dependence of Zechariah on the ear- 
lier prophets. With them, Lebanon is a constant designation of all 
that is high, invincible, strong. Isaiah, 2 : 13, employs it, along with 
the oaks of Basan, as a part for the whole, to point out all that is 
high and strong on earth, and 10 : 34, as an image of the Assyrian 
monarchy. Chap. 40 : 16, he mentions Lebanon, to designate, by 
way of individualization, the highest mountain forest. The king of 
Assyria, Is. 37 : 24, knows no higher boast, than that he has ascend- 
ed Lebanon, and cut down its lofiy cedars. A passage, the com- 
parison of which is here the more important, because in it, also, the 
ascension of Lebanon is to be understood at the same time literally, 
(Lebanon would certainly not be mentioned, if the king of Assyria 
had not actually scaled it, as, v. 25, another land with which the As- 
syrians never had any concern would certainly not be mentioned 
instead of Egypt,) and metaphorically, as an individual example of 
the conquest of every difficulty, and of victorious perseverance. 
Similar is Is. 14 : 8, where, in reference to the king of Babylon, it 
is said : " The cypresses also rejoice over thee, the cedars (?f Leba- 
non ; since thou hast fallen, no man comes to us who cuts us down." 
Jeremiah employs Lebanon, together with mount Gilead, as a figu- 
rative designation of the royal house of Judah, 22 : 6; " Thus saith 


the Lord, concerning the house of the king of Judah : Gilead art 
thou to me, the head of Lebanon ; surely I will change thee into 
a desert, into cities which are not inhabited." V. 7. " And I sanc- 
tify against thee, destroyers with their implements, and they destroy 
the choice of thy cedars, and make them fall together upon the fire." 
This passage, which the prophet, as is shown by the comparison of 
" they destroy the choice of thy cedars," with " which are glorious 
are laid waste," in v. 2, appears to have had especially in view, dif- 
fers from the one before us, so far as in it Lebanon is an image of 
an exalted individual. Here, on the contrary, it designates, by way 
of individualization, all that is exalted in the land of Judea, in 
general ; a distinction which is rendered clearer by the remark, that 
in the case of such an individualization, the object named is also 
included, while in the case of an image, it serves only as a designa- 
tion of another. By confounding the two, particularly in the proph- 
ets, a multitude of false interpretations has been occasioned ; comp. 
6. g. Gesenius zu Jes. 2, 13 ff. and, in general, a large number of 
passages of his commentary. As for the rest, Calvin, and indeed he 
only, has discerned the truth in the passage before us. He rejects 
the allegorical interpretation of Jerome and others, and remarks : 
" Consilium pi-ophct(S, dtum fore vindiccm contra totum popuhim, ut 
nee Hierosolymoi, nee uUis locis parcat. Ergo ctiam per ahietes et 
cetlros intelUgit, quidquid tunc excellebat vel in JiidcBa, vel aliis in 
locis. — Sub una specie compleetitur quidquid prctiosum erat in 
Judtsa. — Dicit propheta nullum esse locum tarn diffieilem accessu, 
qui non pervius sit, uhi dominus licentiam omnia perdendi hostibus 
dare volet.'" It is true, that immediately after he overlooks the 
difference between metaphor and individualization, when, by the 
shepherds, he understands people of rank, by lions, the cruel rulers 
of the people; and even in v. 2, refers Dnnx to persons. 

V. 2. " Howl thou cypress ; for the cedar falls, laid ivaste are the 
lofty. Howl ye oaks of Basan ; for the strong forest is overthroum." 
The cedars in relation to the cypresses, and the mountain forest ot 
Lebanon in contrast with the groves of Basan, stand here as an indi- 
vidualization of what is most distinguished and exalted in relation 
to what is indeed less so, but nevertheless still excellent and distin- 
guished above the rest. Has the former not been able to withstand 
the conqueror, the latter sees its destruction to be the more certain ; 
and the low and insignificant is so inevitably given up to ruin, that 
it need not be particularly mentioned. The cypresses (that these 


are to be understood by E/n:? has been proved, among others, by 
Gesenius in the Tlies. s. v.) are indeed placed below the cedars, 
but occupy the second place after them, on account of their hard 
and firm wood, suited to the building of palaces and ships ; and, 
hence elsewhere alf^o, as Is, 14 : 8, Ezek. 31 : 8, they are joined 
with them. In like manner the oak forests of Basan were in great 
esteem, as the oak in general was reckoned among the noblest 
trees, comp. Is. 2 : 13, Ezek. 27 : 6. In expression and contents 
such passages are similar, as Is. 23 : 14, " Howl ye ships of Tar- 
shish ; for your stronghold is destroyed." Jer. 49 : 3, " Howl 
Heshbon, for Ai is destroyed." It is, in general, a custom of the 
prophets, when the strong has fallen, to exhort the weaker to fear 
and lamentation, and in this way to express the thought that there 
now remains no deliverance for the latter, comp. on chap. 9:5. — 
*i:^X is taken by several in the sense because, and it cannot indeed 
be denied, that tvhat sometimes expresses the sense of because, comp. 
Gesenius, Thes. s. v. Ewald, p. 661. But still there is here no rea- 
son for the assumption of this peculiarity, which scarcely occurs, 
except in historical prose, which is more inaccurate, and approaches 
nearer to the language of common life. On the contrary, we should 
then expect the article in □"''^'''ix. The phrase, " which are magnifi- 
cent," expresses either the ground, why in general the cedars are 
named, and the cypresses on account of their fall exhorted to lam- 
entation ; — the cedar is the queen of the forest ; " does this happen 
in the green wood, what will be in the dry? " comp. Ezek. 21 : 3, 
" Behold I kindle in thee a fire, and it consumes in thee every 
green tree and every dry tree." — Or it refers to a difference among 
the cedars themselves; the cedar forest on Lebanon consists even 
now of two kinds of trees, the high and majestic ancient trees, in 
Jeremiah 1. c, called " the choice of his cedars," and those of a more 
recent growth. Comp. Ritter. Erdkunde, II. p. 445 sq. Accord- 
ingly, the words contain a climax ; even the most splendid cedars 
have fallen, how then can the rest of the forest expect to be spared 1 
The latter sense, on account of the parallel passage of Jeremiah, is 
certainly to be preferred. The defenders of the allegorical interpre- 
tation have ever found in these words a direct confirmation of their 
view. The Seventy translate : on (nyulMq ^ayiaTuvfg hai.wnoigr]- 
aav. Jerome : " quoniam magnifici vastati sunt," on which he 
remarks : " Quodque prius dixit obscure, nunc ponit manifestius. — 
Cupio scire, qucB sint cedri Libani, qua: combustoi sunt, qua: abides, 

152 ZECHARIAHChap. 11. 

quibus ululatus indidtur, quae pinus, quce corruit ; magnijici, inquit, 
vastati sunt." Theodoret: Kal eo/.i7}vtv(iir, a TgoTiixMg elgr^xEv inijya/sv 
X. T. I. Cyril '."Oil 8i negi av&(jwno)v o Xoyog aiulalnaqov IStlv' tcpr] yaq 
tv&vg, OTi, (.nydXcog /jsyiOTccvsg itaXainwgr^aav. Among the moderns 
with peculiar confidence Hitzig 1. c. p. 33. But there is not the 
smallest ground for this supposition. "T'lX is used not only in gen- 
eral of lifeless things, comp. e. g. Exod. 15 : 10, Ps. 93 : 5, but it 
also occurs especially as an epithet of the cedar, Ezek. 17 : 23, cor- 
responding to "the high and the exalted." Is. 2 : 13. T^; stands in 
a poetic discourse to express the prostration of the forest also in Is. 
32 : 19. — Its high and lofty trees come down as it were from the 
throne to the dust. — In the last words the marginal reading "i]^' 
T'YIin is probably to be preferred, as the more difficult, to that of the 
text lli'3n "^pi. It appears, that the prophet in these words designed 
a double sense, and therefore chose as well the unusual combina- 
tion, "the forest of the strong," for " the strong forest," as also the 
unusual form, which does not elsewhere occur, "I'V^ for '^•'1X3, in the 
sense inaccessible, strong. "I'VID "iJ^l may signify both the forest of 
extinction, and the forest to be destroyed. I'V? has throughout the 
sense vintage. The vintage, however, is a frequent image of extinc- 
tion and destruction. Thus, Judges 8:2, " Is not the gleaning of 
Ephraim, better than the vintage of Abiezer. Obad. v. 5, " Had 
the vintagers passed over thee, would they not have left a glean- 
ing?" Particularly however, Jer. 6:9, "The remnant which is 
left of Israel, they will gather as a vine ; cast (O friend) as a vinta- 
ger one after another into the vats," and chap. 49 : 9, " If vintagers 
(Dnv^) had passed over thee, would they not have left a gleaning? " 
The prophet accordingly would embrace in one and the same word 
the present and future condition of Lebanon. Entirely analogous is 
Is. 13 : 22, " the jackals answer each other," vniJlpSx?- That the 
prophet has here, without any particular reason, chosen the form 
which elsewhere never occurs, rrinpSx for vr\up"ji<, his palaces, we 
certainly cannot, with Gesenins and Winer, assume. He rather 
thereby points out, that the proud palaces of luxury should at a future 
period be widowed. Such an allusion is the more admissable in 
Zechariah, as in general among the later prophets the play upon 
words and the allusion had become much more frequent. Thus 
e. g. Jer. 19 : 2, the name of the frag7nent-door is mentioned plainly 
in reference to the impending destruction, as appears from a com- 
parison of V. 11; see also on chap. 6:9-15. 


ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 163 

V. 3. " The sound of the howl of the shepherds ; for laid toaste 
is their ornament, the sound of the roaring of the lions; for laid 
waste is the pride of the Jordan.'" The prophet describes what 
he perceives in inward vision, and hence the absence of the verb is 
explained, and there is no occasion to assume an ellipsis. An ex- 
actly parallel passage is found in Jer. 25 : 34 sq. There can indeed 
be no doubt, that Zechariah had it in view. In Jeremiah, also, the 
invasion of an enemy from the Nortli is described. The only dif- 
ference is, that here again, that which is metaphorical with Jere- 
miah, is individualization with Zechariah. Particularly v. 36, 
agrees almost verbatim with the first half of the verse before us: 
Di;!';^"??""*^' nin: nnk^-o |N-:!fn n;-jx nSS^i n'J^'"in npJ^^ Sip, " The voice 
of the cry of the shepherds and of the howl of the excellent of the 
flock ; for the Lord lays waste their pasturage." With the second 
member v. 38 coincides. " They leave, as a lion, their resting- 
place, for their land is for desolation." Peculiar to Zechariah only 
is the circumstance, that the lions especially are frightened from the 
pride of Jordan, the stately shrubbery, which covers its banks, so 
that its waters cannot be obtained, until a path has been made 
through it, and which serves as an abode for innumerable wild beasts, 
though now no longer for the lions, (comp. Burkhardt, II. p. 593, 
Ritter, II. 324, Rosenmuller, Altcrth. II. 1, p. 196 flf.) But on a 
nearer examination, it appears that this trait also is taken from other 
passages of Jeremiah. Not only do we find the designation, the pride 
of Jordan, of which Schnurrer (on Jer. 12, in Velthausen, Kuinoel, 
and Ruperti, Comm. Theol. III. p. 372,) erroneously asserts, that it 
was gradually introduced into the language of the people, as a proper 
geographical appellation, since it never occurs as such, but always 
with respect to its appellative meaning as an honorable epithet, in 
three passages of Jeremiah, and in him alone ; but also in all these 
three -passages the pride of Jordan is designated especially as an 
abode of lions, which it certainly first became, when the land by 
the desolating wars towards the end of the Jewish state, was more 
and more depopulated, (comp. 2 Kings 17.) At the time to which 
the second part of Zechariah has been recently assigned, it had not 
yet become so. And, besides, this idiom is so far from being pecu- 
liar, that we could explain the recurrence of it in Zechariah merely 
from his having used Jeremiah. Jer. 49: 19, it is said, in the proph- 
ecy against Edom : " Behold, as a lion will he go up from the pride 
of Jordan to the fold of the strong," (" terram Edom., qui se fortem 

VOL. II. 20 

164 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

et invictumjactaty Schmid). It occurs also verbatim 50 : 45, in the 
prophecy against Babylon. Chap. 12 : 5, " In the land of peace dost 
thou confide, but what wilt thou do in the pride of the Jordan," a 
secure region is contrasted with the environs of the Jordan, dan- 
gerous on account of lions. When we consider such instances, we 
cannot sufficiently wonder at the blindness of those, who assign the 
second part of Zechariah to the period before the exile, a view 
which gives rise to such monstra interpretationis as the before men- 
tioned treatise of Hitzig. — The ornament of the shepherds, according 
to a comparison of the parallel passages of Jeremiah, are the excel- 
lent pastures, not indeed, as Rosenmiiller supposes, the trees, which 
afforded them shade. What the prophet here expresses by way of 
individualization, the thought, that each one loses that which is his 
pride, his joy, the desire of his eyes, the love of his soul, Ezekiel, 
33 : 28, embraces in the general proposition ; " I make the land a 
waste, its mighty pride is extinct, the mountains of Israel are made 
desolate, so that no man passes through." The howling shepherds 
and the roaring lions, frightened from their lairs, are the representa- 
tives of all in the land, who have any good to be lost. 

V. 4. Flijgge and Rosenmuller altogether erroneously assume, 
that a new prophecy commences here. V. 1 - 3, are rather to be 
regarded only as a sort of prelude ; after the prophet has there paint- 
ed the judgment, which should come upon the covenant people, he 
here exhibits the causes, which had brought it upon them. Calvin : 
" Hie subjiciiur ratio, cur deus tarn severe agere cogitet cum populo 
sua, nempe quoniam eorum obslinutio nihil Venice mcretiir. — Pra:- 
cipue ingratitudinis accusal Judceos, quod tarn male et andigne 
rcsponderunt singularibus dei beneficiis." V. 1 - 3 are related to 
the rest of the chapter in nearly the same manner as Is. 52: 13-15 
to chap. 53, — " Thus saith the Lord my God: Feed the flock of 
slaughter." The question here arises in the first place, who is the 
person addressed, who it is that receives the command to feed the 
flock. 1. Many interpreters, as Frischmuth, Mark, Michaelis, Sack 
(Apologetik, p. 303), and others, suppose him to be, without any 
participation of the prophet, the angel of the Lord united with God 
by a unity of being, or the Messiah ; because this angel, according 
to the doctrine of the Old Testament, was to appear in him. That 
the assumption is unnatural, that a person should be introduced, 
as acting so suddenly, without any further description, is not suffi- 
cient to refute this view. The unexpected introduction of new per- 

ZECHARIAH Chap, II. 156 

sons, who are made known merely by their discourse and actions, 
has in its favor numerous analogies in the prophetic writings, and 
is a necessary consequence of the dramatic character of the pro- 
phetic discourse. But the sudden appearance of the angel of the 
Lord, is here the less liable to objection, since in the first part he is 
uniformly reckoned among the acting persons. But the comparison 
of V. 15 sq., is of itself a complete refutation of this view. The per- 
son, who there comes forward and acts, must necessarily be identical 
with the subject of v. 4 sq. This is shown by, " Take to thee again 
the implements of the foolish shepherd." The ni;; proves, beyond 
dispute, that he, who here takes the implements of the evil shepherd, 
is identical with him, who, according to v. 7 sq., carries the imple- 
ments of the good shepherd. But the contents of v. Jo sq., as the 
defenders of this view must themselves confess, are in no way suited 
to the angel of the Lord, or to the Messiah. Consequently also, in 
V. 4 sq., he alone cannot be the subject. 2. Others suppose, that 
the person addressed is the prophet, not as the representative of 
another, but in his own proper person. This supposition is so 
absurd, that it scarcely needs a refutation. It is contradicted by 
V. L5 sq., in like manner as the foregoing. If the prophet there 
comes forward not in his own person, but as a representative of an- 
other, such also must be the case here. To this we may add the 
comparison of the parallel passages, especially Ezek. chap. 37. The 
evil shepherds, according to this prophecy, shall be deprived of their 
office. The Lord himself will now take charge of his flock, search 
after his scattered sheep, bring them back to their pastures in the 
land of Israel, and there feed them. He will raise up for them 
(v. 23) one sole shepherd, his servant David, who will feed them, 
and be their shepherd. Comp. also Jer. 23. Is it now conceivable, 
that the great work, which is there attributed to the Lord and the 
Messiah, would here be assigned to the prophet and exercised by 
him, a feeble servant of the Lord in the new and poor colony ? How 
could he possibly be the chief shepherd of the whole flock, v. 7, who 
deposes all other shepherds, or leaders of the people, v. 8, who would 
afford the people security against all foreign nations and preserve 
them in harmony, and at whose powerful word both should cease? 
What sense has the relation concerning the thirty pieces of silver, 
when referred to the prophet ? Rosenmiiller has endeavoured to ob- 
viate a part of these difficulties, by appealing to the custom of the 
prophets, to attribute that to themselves as an action, which they pre- 

166 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

diet as future. " Feed the flock destined for the slaughter," he ex- 
plains, after the Chaldee, by " vaticinare de ovibus mactationi a malis 
siiis pastoribus destinatis." But this supposition appears on a nearer 
examination altogether untenable. That the prophets often attribute 
to themselves as an action, that which they only predict, is by no 
means owing to the circumstance, that all active verbs may have at 
the same time a declarative meaning (an absurd supposition), but to 
the fact that the consciousness of the Spirit working in them, who at 
the same time gave the prophecy and accomplished the fulfilment,- 
suppressed the consciousness of their own personality ; that they 
often spoke, not as individuals, but as mere organs of God. Hence 
it follows, that the prophets express as their own action, not that in 
general which is future, but only what the Lord will accomplish in 
the future. This is confirmed by a view of all the passages relating 
to the subject. If we apply this usage here, it is impossible that 
V. 4 can have the sense assumed by RosenmiJller ; it must rather be 
explained, " Announce, that the Lord will feed," and in like manner 
also must all the following active verbs employed by the prophet be 
understood. This however is obviously inadmissible. How, e. g. can 
we translate v. 7 : " So then I predicted that the Lord would feed the 
herd, destined for slaughter, that he would take two staves, the one 
kindness and the other grace, that he would destroy the three shep- 
herds in one month " ? There is not a single example to be found of 
such a mode of representation continued through an entire and long 
portion ; whenever it occurs, it is interchanged with the other, more 
usual, in which the prophet is distinguished from God, who works 
in him. 3. There remains, therefore, only the view, that with v. 4 
the relation of a symbolical action commences, in which the prophet 
represents another person, and typifies his future actions and fate. 
That this is customary in the symbolical actions of the prophets, 
every one of them proves. Thus e. g. Isaiah, chap. 20, typifies the 
future fate of the Egyptians and Ethiopians. So Jeremiah, chap. 20, 
and Ezekiel, chap. 4, the circumstances of the covenant people. In 
the symbolical action, which is related in the first three chapters of 
Hosea, the prophet represents the Lord, and typifies in his actions 
his future conduct towards the covenant people. In determining 
the person represented by the prophet in the present instance, the 
choice lies only between the Lord and his angel or his revealer. In 
favor of the latter we cannot argue, that the Lord is several times, 
as V. 4 - 13, distinguished from the subject of discourse ; this dis- 

ZECHARIAH Chap. U. 157 

tinction belongs, as the comparison of Hosea shows, to the nature of 
the s}'rabolic action ; it refers not to the subject, but to the drapery ; 
the person represented commands him, who makes the representa- 
tion, what he must do in order that the representation may corre- 
spond to the subject. Just as little, however, can we appeal in favor 
of the first lo the fact, that, v. 13, Jehovah calls the base reward 
which had been given to the shepherd, the splendid price which had 
been paid to himself, the Lord. As the angel of the Lord, united 
with him by a unity of being, is throughout the Scriptures at one 
time distinguished from him, as the person sent, from him who sends, 
at another shares in his name, and in his actions, (comp. Vol. L 
p. 164,) so also in Zechariah. The most remarkable example is 
chap. 2 : 12, 13, " Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts : after the glory 
(rightly Jonathan : " Post gloriam, quoi promissa est, id adducntur 
super vos ") he has sent mo to the heathen who rob you ; for he that 
touches you, touches the apple of his eye. For behold, I brandish 
my hand against them, and they become for a prey to them whom 
they served. And he shall know that Jehovah of Hosts hath sent 
me." The person speaking here, distinguishes himself from Jeho- 
vah of Hosts, who has sent him, but the prophet nevertheless gives 
him the name of Jehovah of Hosts, and he attributes to himself a 
divine work, the destruction of the enemies of the covenant people. 
Comp. above, p. 24. — The decision depends rather on the result 
furnished by the collective contents of the predictions of the prophet 
respecting the relation of the Lord and his angel to the covenant 
people. But here it is soon perceived, that all relations of the Lord 
to his people are conducted through the mediation of his revealer, 
endowed with the entire fulness of his omnipotence, that all blessings 
to be imparted to them proceed fro?n him, that he is the proper pro- 
tecting and covenant God of the Israelites. It is he, who, chap.. 
1 : 8, accompanied by a host of angels, is present in the valley of 
myrtle-bushes, the symbol of the covenant people, who, chap. 2 : 14, 
promises to dwell in the midst of them, who, chap. 3 : 1 sq., rebukes 
the complaint of Satan against the covenant people, in the person of 
their representative Joshua, and out of his own full power imparts 
to him the forgiveness of sins. To whom, but to him, the constant 
shepherd of the people, could the last and greatest attempt described 
in this portion, to prove his pastoral fidelity towards them, be at- 
tributed ? This result, thus independently obtained, is still con- 
firmed by the fact, that we meet again with the reward of thirty 

158 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

pieces of silver in the history of the angel of the Lord, manifested in 
the Messiah, and that he is designated in the New Testament as 
the subject of the prophet's representation. — Whether the sym- 
bolical action here described tool? place inwardly or outwardly we 
scarcely need to inquire, since the former, as Mainionides has 
already shown, (Mor. Neb. 2 : 46, Buxt, p. 324,) is so very obvious. 
The guarding of the flock of slaughter, the destruction of their three 
shepherds, the imparting of the reward of thirty pieces of silver, — 
all this cannot have taken place outwardly, the less so, since the 
subject matter often appears behind the symbol, as e. g. v. 11, where 
the miserable sheep are spoken of, who adhered to the great high 
shepherd , and who observed that it was the word of the Lord, and 
V. 12, where the prophet treats with the flock itself concerning the 
reward ; both which are inexplicable, if the prophet fed a literal 
flock of sheep. The supposition, moreover, that the symbolic action 
was internal, is favored by the analogy of the visions of the first part, 
which differ from it only in this, that here the prophet himself comes 
forward as the chief actor in the scene, while there he mostly cooper- 
ates only so far, (comp. nevertheless, chap. 3, p. 32,) as the dis- 
closures respecting the import of the symbolic representations are 
imparted to him. But in general the symbolic actions in the proph- 
ets, who appeared after the connexion with the Chaldees, viz. Eze- 
kiel and Daniel, are almost uniformly internal, which was owing to 
a participation in the exceedingly rich Chaldee-Babylonish imagina- 
tion. — With respect to the import of the symbolic action, those 
interpreters are at once to be rejected, who find here references to 
events before the exile. These, particularly the invention of several 
Jews from controversial zeal against the Christians, (comp. the pas- 
sages in Abicht, in the valuable treatise De Baculis Jucunditatis et 
Corrumpentium, in the Thesanr. Nov. \. p. 1094 sq.) are so arbitrary 
and absurd, that they deserve not even to be mentioned, much less 
refuted. That which is alleged in their favor, the use of the practers, 
loses all show of argument, as soon as it has been proved that the 
prophet here describes a symbolic action. For this had actually 
already taken place, while the thing typified by it was still future. 
If, however, the reference to the time of the second temple is estab- 
lished, the choice can lie only between two interpretations, the one 
which finds here typified the whole condition of God towards the 
covenant people under the second temple; the other, which regards 
the symbolic representation as a type of one particular eff"ort under 


ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 159 

the second temple to rescue the people, who were near destruction, 
viz. the pastoral office of Christy and the rejection, of the people as the 
consequence of their rejection of him. The former view was adopt- 
ed by Abarbanel, whose words we must cite, because they show, 
how the power of truth, at least more with him than with the other 
Jewish interpreters, gained the victory over doctrinal prejudice and 
caused him to apprehend at least the fundamental thought of the 
prophecy. He says, according to the translation of Abicht : " Sen- 
sus prophetcB is est. Postqiiam deus propJictcB indicassct bona, qucB 
erant futura super incolas secundi templi, si vias suas bonas redde- 
rent, secundum prophdias quas jam inte.rpy-ctalus sum, pergit sermo 
ad prophetam, ipsi signijicando futura, si non bona redderent opera 
et sc bonis illis dignos exhiberent, sed si e contrario rcges et sacerdo- 
tes eorum una cum rcliquo populo detcrius viverent, quam patres 
eorum, quomodo non sufficiebut, tit opcribus bonis Schechinam et reve- 
lationem non reducerent, sed quoque se reos redderent dcsolationum 
et captivitatis. Et hue tendit sapientum p. m. in principio capitis : 
Aperi, Libanon, portas tuas." (Comp. on v. 1.) This view is also 
taken by Calvin. According to him, the Lord executes the pastoral 
office through all his true servants, under the second temple, most 
completely through Christ. " Suscipit propheta in se personam 
omnium pastortim ; quasi diceret : non esse cur obtendat populus 
inscitiam, vel culpam suam aliis titulis et cohn-ibus fucare velit ; quia 
dbus semper obtulit se pastorem, et adhibuit etiam ministros, quorum 
manu regeret popidum hunc. Non stetit igitur per deum, quin 
feliciter haberi potuerit hie populus." A copious defence of this 
reference is given by Abicht, (1. c. p. 1092 sq.) His chief argument 
is the following : " In anteccdentibus propheta habitatoribus templi 
secundi dei specialem providentiam et defensionem contra insidtantes 
hostes, terrce fertilitatcm, c. 10: 1, defensionem et robur, 3-7, mul- 
tiplicationem et collectionem, 8 sqq., promisit, quts omnia ad templi 
secundi tempora respiciunt. Quoniani vero deus prcevidit, quod in 
bono non perstituri, sed malis operibus contaminati, posnam merituri 
sint, nunc bonorum promissioni posnam adjungit, quos eos mansura 
sit, si a legis divinm tramite deflectercnt. — His rationibus subnixus 
dico, nostra verba de modo JudcBos in iemplo secundo pasccndi in 
genere loqui, quo deus modo bonos, modo malos concessit pastores, 
prout Judmorum vita et opera comparafa fnerunt." Sack also is 
inclined to refer the prophecy to the execution of the pastoral office 
by the angel of the Lord during the whole time of the second tern- 

160 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

pie, but still with a predominant reference throughout to Christ. — 
On the other hand, the exclusive reference to the pastoral office to 
be discharged by Christ is so plain)}' to be regarded as the prevail- 
ing one, that it would be useless labor to mention its individual 
defenders. If now we examine the grounds for the former view, it 
will readily appear, that that advanced by Abicht has no force. For 
from the fact, that the prophecy, chap. 9 and 10, concerning the 
favors to be conferred upon the Jews by the victories of Alexander, 
embraces the whole time of the second temple, until the coming of 
Christ, how could it follow that the prophecy before us is equally 
comprehensive, that it does not rather give prominence to the chief 
object of the foregoing prophecy, the appearing of Christ, (not only 
does he distinctly appear, chap. 9 : 9, 10, but elsewhere also, as we 
have seen, there are representations of the Messianic time,) and 
represent it in another point of view, in order that it may appear in 
its full and true character, and not exert a pernicious instead of a 
wholesome influence, by being partially and carnally apprehended? 
An appeal might still be made to Jer. 23 : 4, where the Lord prom- 
ises, that he will give the people good shepherds, in the place of 
their present bad ones ; and to Ezek. chap. 34, where, in like man- 
ner, the assumption of the pastoral office by the Lord, refers to the 
whole period from the return from Babylon till the appearing of 
Christ. But in these prophecies also, which Zechariah plainly had 
in view, the sending of the Messiah is made particularly prominent, 
as the highest and most complete manifestation of the pastoral fidel- 
ity of the Lord. He will raise up for them, according to Ezek. 
V. 23, one sole shepherd, who shall feed them, his servant David ; 
he will feed them, and he will be their shepherd. He, the Lord, 
will be their God, and his servant David will be a prince in the 
midst of them. According to Jer. v. 5, he will raise up to David a 
righteous branch, who shall be a king and reign well, and establish ' 
justice and righteousness on earth. Wherefore now should not 
Zechariah, having these prophecies in view, render prominent alone 
the highest and last manifestation of the pastoral fidelity of the 
Lord ; especially as its inferior manifestations, promised both by 
Jeremiah and Ezekiel, through the restoration from exile and the 
excellent leaders of the new colony, Zerubbabel and Joshua, who 
are extolled by Zechariah in the first part, already belonged chiefly 
to the past ? This view, therefore, has no plausible ground in its 
favor, on the contrary it is liable to one entirely decisive objection. 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 161 

According to this interpretation, the pastoral office of the Lord, and 
therefore also the destruction of the three shepherds in v. 8, must be 
something extending through the centuries from the return from the 
exile, until the extinction of the Theocracy. On the contrary, how- 
ever, it is said, v. 8, " I destroyed the three shepherds in one month." 
We have here a clear explanation of the prophet, that his symbolic 
action typifies one single act of the pastoral fidelity of the Lord, to 
be completed in a comparatively short time. In addition to this, 
the designation of the covenant people as a flock of slaughter, agrees 
well with the condition of the people at the time of the appearance 
of Christ, but not during the whole second- temple, and, least of all, at 
the time of the prophet. The latter is indeed asserted by Calvin : 
" Grex occisionis refcrtur ad prophctcB cetatcm ; viortuce oves, quas 
dominus eripuerat, niultis mohstiis adhuc expositm crant." But, if 
we compare the representation of v. 5, it soon appears that the con- 
dition of the people here represented is entirely diiferent from that 
after the exile, which was indeed poor, but peaceful. — Finally the 
breaking also of the staff, Grace, signifying the withdrawal of the 
protection which the Lord granted his people against the heathen 
nations, and the breaking of the staff of the covenanted, signifying 
the termination of harmony among the people themselves, appear 
here altogether as one particular action of lasting consequences ; 
comp. V. 11, " and it was broken in that day." The Lord gives up 
the people, not as in their former history, to transient punishment, 
in order to receive them again into favor when they shall have 
turned to him, but the peremptory decree of rejection is pronounced 
against them. And yet we should expect the former, if the represen- 
tation relates to the whole proceeding of the Lord with the covenant 
people during the second temple. If, however, the rejection is an 
individual act, so also must the conduct of the people by which it is 
occasioned, be the last and highest manifestation of their refractory 
spirit, as it appeared in the rejection of Christ. As such, it plainly 
appears from the comparison of v. 4 and fi : " Feed the flock of 
slaughter, — for I will no more spare the dwellers in the land, saith 
the Lord." Here the feeding is designated as the last effort for the 
deliverance of the unhappy people, to be immediately followed by 
their total rejection, if, as actually happened, that effort should fail. 
— A diversity in the interpretation of rij'inri |X}f is still to be men- 
tioned. The fiocli of slaughter can signify a flock which has been 
already slaughtered, or one which is to be so at a future time. The 

VOL. II. 21 

162 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

Lord can thus name the covenant people in order to give, as the 
ground of his pastoral office, his sympathy with their miserable con- 
dition before he undertook this office, or his sympathy with them on 
account of the judgments still to be iiiihcted through his righteous- 
ness. It is best however to combine them both. The present mis- 
erable condition of the people under evil rulers, both domestic and 
foreign, was an effect of the divine justice. This should and must 
continue for the future, and" be increased, if the people did not sin- 
cerely repent ; and, in order to furnish them with the means for this, 
the Lord himself undertakes the office of a shepherd, and comes to 
deliver that which is lost. 

V- 5. " IV/iose buyers slay them, and do not become guilty, and 
ivhosc sellers say.: The Lord be praised, I enrich myself; and their 
shepherds spare them not." The futures of the verse are to be taken 
as a designation of an action already indeed commenced, but still 
in progress. The use of them of itself shows, that the designation 
of the Israelites, as a flock of slaughter, cannot be referred solely to 
the i>ast and present. ^''^^% ^^ is translated by several interpreters, 
"They are not punished"; by others, "They feel themselves not 
guilty" (Calvin: " Nan sunt sibi conscii a-udelitatis") ; others still 
unite both, as Michaelis : " Impune hoc faciunt, ac ne culpam qui- 
dem ullam, dum oves occidunt, agnoscunt." Mark : " They are not 
guilty in their own eyes," " Vel tandem etiam apud judicem huma- 
nvni et divinum, quo po^iiam non poscente hoc agant impune." In 
like manner also, Praised be the Lord, I enrich myself, is taken by 
all interpreters merely as a designation of the highest cruelty, and 
obduracy on the part of the sellers. So Grotius : " Nihil plebem 
euro, dum ego ex sacerdotio magnos qucestus faciam.''^ Michaelis : 
" Adeo non agnoscunt se reos, ut sibi in cordc benedicant, et deum ip- 
sum velut auctorem opum injuste partarum laudent.'' But this interpre- 
tation is decidedly wrong. =IDB'X';. can mean neither, " They do not 
acknowledge themselves as guilty," nor " They are not punished." 
This verb D^^N has indeed, as all verbs which signify transgression, 
the accessary idea of the punishment of sin, but the main idea of 
guiltiness is never lost. It is still more evident from a comparison 
of the parallel passages, that this interpretation is inadmissible. 
These show, that the prophet would express the thought, that the 
misery of the people does not proceed from human caprice, but from 
the righteous judgment of God. Jer. 2 : 3, is especially to the point, 
" Sacred was Israel to the Lord, the first-fruits of his increase. All 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 163 

who destroyed it were guilty, misfortune came upon them, saith the 
Lord." (Jonathan : " JEt sicut, qui edit dc primitiis messis manipuU 
oblationis, antequam inde offer ant sacerdotes fiUi Aharonis oblatianes 
super altari, reus Jit, sic omnes qui deprcedahantur domum Israelis, 
reaturn sibi contraliebant") The prophet here contrasts the former 
time, when no one could injure the theocratically disposed people, 
without making himself guilty and liable to punishment, with the 
present, whe»n they are given up by the Lord himself to their ene- 
mies, as his instruments, and become their lawful booty. In like 
manner, chap. -50 : 6, 7 ; " Perishing sheep are my people ; their 
shepherds lead them astray ; they cause them to wander about on 
the mountains, they go from mountain to hill, forgetful of their fold. 
All who find them consume them, and their enemies say ; We 
make not ourselves guilty (D^if^J xS), because they have sinned 
against the Lord, the dwelling-place of righteousness, against the 
Lord, the hope of their fathers." Here, as the cause of the inno- 
cence of the enemies, the apostasy of the people from their God is 
expressly given, which brought upon them the tyranny of their 
enemies as a righteous divine judgment. The passage, chap. 
25 : 9, although probably not so distinctly regarded by the prophet 
as the two foregoing, yet deserves to be cited ; " Behold, I send and 
take all the nations of the north, saith the Lord, and Nebuchad- 
nezzar, the king of Babylon, viy servant, and upon this land and upon 
all these people round about, and I ptit them under a curse, and 
make them desolate," &c. Nebuchadnezzar appears here as the min- 
ister of the divine justice, who, if this destination had been the motive 
of his action, could have executed its decisions against the covenant 
people without guilt, as in chap. 22 : 7, (" I sanctify against thee de- 
stroyers,") the war against them is represented as sacred. — " Their 
sellers say," is, as to the sense, i. q., " they can say." It is very 
frequent to attribute that to any one as a saying, which, from the 
nature of the case, he could say. Still the comparison of Is. 36 : 10, 
where Sennacherib says : " Have I invaded this land in order to 
destroy it, without the Lord ? Yea, the Lord said to me. Invade this 
land and destroy it," shows, that the enemies of the Israelites some- 
times actually had a presentiment of their higher destination. — 
That is a lawful gain, in respect to which one can say. Blessed or 
praised be God, for the imparting of which a man can thank the 
Lord. Appropriately Calvin, although with another application : 
" Solemus gratias agere deo, ubi qiuv nobis obvenivnt bona, possimus 
ei acccptu ferre. Nan dicct latro, qui jugulavit inaoxium : lienedic' 

164 ZECHARIAHChap. 11. 

tus sit deiis ; nam vellet exstinctum esse dei nomen potius, quia vul- 
nerat ejus conscientiam." — IH^ipj as the antithesis to Jp'lPfSj shows, 
(comp. Is. 24 : 2,) not, as several interpret it, " their possessors," but 
their sellers. By the buyers and sellers of the flock are designated 
here those, who dealt with and ruled the covenant people according 
to their pleasure. We can by no means, with Theodoret, Cyril, 
and others, refer this to the evil leaders of the people from among 
themselves, but rather to their foreign oppressors, as Jerome has 
rightly understood, by the buyers and sellers, the Romans. This 
plainly appears from the cited parallel passages, still more, however, 
from the thing itself; how could the flock, Israel, be a lawful gain 
to their domestic shepherds ? for these were themselves a chief 
cause of their apostasy, and were therefore chiefly subject to the 
punishment, comp. v. 17, Jer. 23 : 1. Jahn deserves not to be 
refuted, when, from the form Praised be the Lord, he concludes : 
" Hebrceos esse hos venditores, uti in bello cum Rotnanis erant." 
On the contrary, by " the shepherds who spare not the flock," it is 
highly probable, that the domestic leaders of the people, and indeed 
these exclusively, are to be understood, as appears from the compari- 
son of v. 8, as well as of v. 15- 17. The former passage at the 
same time decisively proves, that, by the shepherds, not merely the 
civil leaders, as Abarbanel and Grotius suppose, are to be under- 
stood, but likewise the ecclesiastical, and, in general, those who had 
in any way been called by the Lord to the guidance of the people. 
There is therefore a climax ; the people sigh, and will sigh, not only 
under the oppression of foreign tyrants, but even their own leaders 
deal unsparingly with them. The apparently feeble expression, 
" they spare not," when used of the native shepherds, is stronger 
than any other merely positive designation of their conduct, because 
it expresses how nature and duty required them to spare their own 
flock, and, therefore, how it was a severe divine judgment when they 
denied them both. — Something must still be remarked respecting an 
apparent grammatical anomaly. The plural, the sellers and the shep- 
herds, is joined with the singular of the verb. This cannot possi- 
bly be accidental, as even Ewald, p. 644, seems to suppose. Even the 
remaining examples cited by him, which he regards as pure errors, 
might be referred to one cause, and here the twofold repetition is 
the more inconsistent with the idea of a mere mistake or inaccuracy. 
The prophet would point out, that, notwithstanding the apparent 
plurality of the actors, there is yet properly but one principal, that it 


ZHCHARIAH Chatv II. 165 

is the Lord who works by tlie sellers and the shepherds. That the 
buyers and the sellers are represented as instruments of the Lord, 
we have already seen ; in respect to the shepherds, the expression, 
" for I will not spare," at the beginning of v. 6, is particularly to 
be observed, whereby the Lord plainly indicates himself, as the 
reason of the shepherds not sparing the flock. To this must still be 
added, v. 16, " for, behold, I raise up a shepherd in the land." In 
a later prophet, like Zechariah, such a phenomenon is the less sur- 

V. G. " / ivill no longer spare the, inhabitants of the land, saith 
the Lord, and I loill give one into the poiver of the other, and into 
the power of his king ; and they lay waste the land, and I will not 
deliver out of their hand." The '3 at the beginning can be referred 
to V. 5, The futures of this verse would then be taken in the sense 
of the future, and by the flock of slaughter must accordingly be un- 
derstood, one which should be slaughtered, not one which had 
already begun to be slauglitered. For in this verse the reason would 
then be given, why the people, in case they rejected the last effort 
for their deliverance, should be given over to destruction without 
their destroyers involving themselves in guilt. The Lord, having 
long waited for the fruit of the barren tree, must finally cut it down. 
But as the flock, v. 7, is described as one already miserable at the 
time when the Lord entered upon his pastoral office, it is unreason- 
able to limit v. 4, 5, to the future. It is better, therefore, to refer 
the '2 to the expression, Feed the flock of slaughter. " Make the last 
effort to conduct them to prosperity ; for I cannot and must not 
longer suffer their shocking apostasy to go unpunished." I'li^l the 
land, that, which had been the subject of discourse in the preceding 
context, the land of Israel. Jerome: " De hac enim terra loqui- 
tur, de qua ei sermo erat, et non de orbe terrarum, sicut Judwi male 
interpretantes a se volunt in aliam partem depravare dei senten- 
tiam." The explanation of this verse also depends upon the com- 
parison of a parallel passage of Jer. 19 : 9, made use of by the 
prophet ; " And I make them eat the flesh of their sons, and the 
flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat one the flesh of the other, 
(iSjn'' ',n;;n— ib|3 K^'^!!,) in the anguish and distress wherewith their 
enemies shall oppress them, and those who endeavour to take their 
life." A twofold reason of the destruction, a twofold punishment 
sent by the Lord, is here given, the discord of the people among 
themselves, heightened by the distress and the oppressions of the 


166 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

enemy. It is entirely the same here also; the former is indicated 
by, " I give them one to the other," the second by, " I give them 
a prey to their king." For that we are not to understand by the 
king a domestic ruler, but rather a foreign oppressor, appears from 
the fact, that neither had the covenant people, at the time of the 
prophet, a domestic king, nor has he made mention of any such, the 
Messiah excepted, in his description of the future. Internal discord 
and external enemies are combined as the two chief instruments of 
punishment, which God employs for the discipline of his people, not 
only in the cited passages of Jeremiah and Is. 9 : 7 sq., comp. 
especially v. 18, 19, and 3 : 4, but also by Zechariah himself, chap. 
8 : 10, " Before these days, — there was no peace before the ene- 
mies, and I sent all men one against the other," (inj/"}3 li^'X.) This 
miserable condition of the people, at the time of the carrying away 
into exile, is then designated here as returning in greater measure 
on account of their guilty ingratitude for renewed mercies and their 
apostasy. If we look to the fulfilment, it easily appears that the 
Roman Caesar is here designated by the king; comp. John 19 : 15, 
where the Jews say, " We have no king but Caesar." How accu- 
rately this prophecy agrees with the fate of the Jews after the rejec- 
tion of Christ, the frightful rage of the parties against one another, 
until at last the city was taken by the Romans, need not be pointed 
out, and is confirmed by the well known passages from Josephus, 
which Jahn has supplied with a liberal hand. — The verb NVn in 
Hiph., " to cause any one to be found or find himself" ; then, " to de- 
liver any one into the hand," for " to deliver up." As the subject 
of mi^p, properly contiindunt , we can supply the nearest relation and 
the king. So Michaelis : " Misere affiigent ct vastabunt, turn internis 
collisionihus , turn extranea hostilitate." It is, however, more suit- 
able to regard the king alone as the subject. For it appears that 
the words, and they lay waste the land, only form a compendium of 
the description of the hostile invasion in v. 1-3. The verb nriD 
agrees better with a hostile invasion than an internal discord. 

V. 7. " So fed I then the fiock of slaughter, out of sympathy 
ioith their misery ; and I made me two staves, the one I named Grace, 
the other I named the Allied, and I fed. the flock." Of the words 
|X2fr]l \^3J^ pS, we give first the explanation which appears to us as 
without doubt the true one, and then we examine those which deviate 
from it. We translate : therefore, the most jniserable of the sheep. 
These words give as the ground of the pastoral office, undertaken by 

2:ECHARIAH Chap. 11. 167 

the Lord, his sympathy with the misery of the flock, entirely coin- 
ciding with V. 4 and 6, " Feed the flocli of slaughter ; for I will not 
further spare," &lc. pS we lake in its usual meaning therefore. 
We find no grammatical ellipsis, but only a concise form of expres- 
sion, which occurs as a result of passion in every kind of discourse, 
and with especial frequency in the prophets. It is peculiar to pas- 
sion to speak in abrupt and broken sentences, barely sufficient to 
call forth the same feeling or thought in the soul of the hearer or 
reader. The sentence, when completed, would read : " I did this 
because they were the most miserable sheep." We cite only a few 
examples of a siniilar concise method of expressing passion. Zech- 
ariah himself furnishes us with three in chap. 4 : G, 7. The most 
striking is v. 7, " Zerubbabel brings forth the foundation stone ; 
acclamations; grace, grace to it." Acclamations mxtyn stands here 
without any necessity of supposing a grammatical ellipsis, instead of 
a whole sentence ; " acclamations are thereupon heard or uttered." 
We have a similar example in the same verse : " Who art thou, O 
mountain, thou great before Zerubbabel? To a plain," for "Thou shalt 
become a plain ; " and v. 6 , " Not by power and not by strength, but 
by my Spirit," viz. are the affairs of the Theocracy, in general, and 
especially the building of the temple, accomplished. We refer also 
to Is. 44 : 12, where, in the representation of idolatry, which is in 
the highest degree passionate and concise, it is said, " the smith the 
a.Ke," (ni'yo S.n3 l^'^n,) as to the sense certainly i. q. " the smith 
prepares the axe," though the assumption of a pure grammatical 
ellipsis of the verb, here and elsewhere, could by no means be jus- 
tified. The mere mention of the subject and object is sufficient to 
awaken in the reader the conception analogous to that of the author. 
As there indignation at the folly of idolatry is the passion which the 
concise expression excites, — comp. the almost still more remarkable 
example 66 : 18, " I, your works," — so here it is the tenderest love 
of the Lord towards his people, and grief over their misery. That 
grief, in particular, loves abruptness, is well known. — Among the 
interpretations which differ from ours, the first class consists of those 
which take pS as a particle, but in an unusual sense. Among 
these, those come nearest the truth, who, as Abenezra, (" \2\ idem, 
quod 'l'i3;?D ") ; Tarnov, (J' propterca, quod esserit miseri gregis,") 
and Noldius {Cone. Part. p. 507), give to |.?S the meaning because. 
They have hit the sense, but have misunderstood the grammar. 
Those wander further, who, with Castalio, De Dieu, Drusius, Storr, 



Rosen nniller, understand pS as a particle of asseveration. All 
these and other explanations are set aside by the simple remark, that 
jpS never means any thing else tha.ii,' for this reason, therefore. 
Even the meaning verumtamen, attamen, assumed by Winer, rests 
only on a superficial view of the passages cited by him. Hos. 2: 16, 
Jer. 16: 14, 30: 16, Ezek. 39: 25, " in quibus omnibus," as he 
says, " subito transitur a comminationihus ad paenas." In Jer. 16, 
the promise in itself considered is out of place, as the threatening 
is immediately afterwards continued. The true interpretation is 
already given by Seb. Schmid, perhaps the best commentator on 
Jeremiah, either ancient or modern : " Est quidem promissio libcra- 
tionis, sed ita id prima hoc faciat ad exaggcrandam diutitrnitatem, 
ct gravitatcm captivitatis, ex qua si emerserint suo tempore JudcBi, 
putabunt se ex majori malo emersissc, quam poifrcs in yEgypto." 
Chap. 30 : 16, no threatening has preceded, but only a justification 
of the divine judgment, which had already been executed. This 
had been inflicted by God with a paternal disposition, as Israel 
would learn from the result itself. In Ezekiel the heathen shall 
know that the Lord has given Israel into their power; for this rea- 
son will he now deliver them. In Hosea the demonstration of love 
has the same object as the punishment before predicted. — A second 
class consists of those who take p^, not as a particle, but as a pro??. 
gen. fcem., after the Masoriies, who designate it as n::pj pivS, and 
Jarchi. SoMichaelis: " Propter vos, o miser i gregis. — Nisi sci- 
vissem me in popiilo Judaico habere obsequiosas aliquot, licet pau- 
ciores, et a potiori turba contemtas oves, qucB vocem pastoris audi- 
turce esseiit, nee me pater misstiriis, nee ego pasturus." Among the 
recent interpreters, Sack. jpS accordingly is to be translated, " for 
3'ou, or for your good." A strong objection to this interpretation is 
derived from v. 11. The J«xn ^'j^ there standing immediately 
before \:?., shows, that pS here also is to be considered as compound- 
ed of S and p. Moreover, the form pS as pron. foim. never occurs, 
though this may be accidental ; according to analogy, it must be 
pointed, not with Zerc, but with Scgol, from which there are only a 
few exceptions, asDHD and ona in some passages; and on account of 
the following '.IJ;^, instead of the pio7i. fcem., we should expect the 
mascuL, though it may be replied that the first relates to the sheep, 
the second to those represented by them. Were there no other inter- 
pretation within our reach, and only one of the three last objections 
could be applied, it would signify but little ; when combined, how- 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 169 

ever, they have force, and the answers to them are insufficient. 
Finally, in this interpretation it is assumed, though not indeed ab- 
solutely necessary, that " the most miserable sheep," are different 
frorn " the flock of slaughter," which, as we shall soon see, is erro- 
neous. — Still other interpretations, as those of Cocceius and Mark, 
and changes of the text, as those of Jahn, we may well pass over on 
account of their manifest incorrectness. — The miserahle of the 
sheep, according to the Hebrew usage, in which the superlative is 
expressed by a comparison of the whole with a part by means of a 
stat. constr., comp. Ewald, p. 576, are the most miserable sheep. 
But the question now arises, what is the whole, the flock of sheep, 
with which the part is here compared. If we assume as such a 
definite flock of sheep, the people of Israel, then, by the miserahle, 
one particular portion, peculiarly miserable, is designated ; if, on 
the contrary, we take as suoh the sheep in general, as an image of 
all men and nations, then the most miserable sheep would signify the 
whole of the covenant people. The former interpretation is the 
nacre usual ; it supposes, that there is here a contrast, similar to 
Ezek. 34 : 16, " I will seek that which is lost, bring back that 
which has wandered, bind up that which is wounded, and strengthen 
that which is sick ; but that which is fat and strong will I destroy." 
It is subjoined, that the most miserable here are those also, who, 
humbled by adversity, long for deliverance. But a closer examina- 
tion shows, that the latter interpretation is the true one. It is not lia' 
ble to the objection, that still, v. 11, by " the most miserable sheep,'' 
only a part of the people, those who feared God, are designated. For 
this more particular description does not there lie in " the most mis- 
erable sheep" itself, but in " which adhere to me," and this very 
addition shows, rather that " the most miserable sheep," in itself 
considered, was general, and belonged to no particular class, but to 
the whole people. What however is especially decisive for the latter, 
are the two parallel passages of Jeremiah, chap. 49 : 20 ; " Of a truth, 
they (the Idumeans) will worry the smallest sheep," |X2^n "TVy,- 
Entirely the same is chap. 50 : 45, in reference to the Chaldeans. 
In both passages " the smallest sheep " is the designation of the 
Israelites in opposition to all the neighbouring nations. To this 
must be added, that the Lord, according to v. 6 and 9, undertakes 
the pastoral office, not over a part of the people, but over the whole, 
and for their good. Finally, this interpretation alone is recon- 
cilable with the words themselves. These cannot be explained with 
VOL. u. 22 

170 ZECHARFAH Chap. Jl. 

Calvin : " Quoniam erant misellcB qumdam oves." The ellipsis must 
rather be thus supplied, " therefore because they were the most mis- 
erable sheep"; so that "the most miserable sheep " are identified 
with " the flock of slaughter," which signifies the whole people. — 
The taking of two shepherd's staves, according to numerous inter- 
preters, signifies God's different modes of proceeding with the people. 
Thus e. g. Michaelis : " Duos sc adhibuisse dicit, ut oves innuat non 
una modo a se pastas fuisse." But this assumption rests on an erro- 
neous interpretation of the names of the staves. The shepherd's 
staff is the instrument with which he affords protection and safety to 
his flock, Ps. 23 : 4. " Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me." 
The taking of two staves, accordingly, signifies the turning away 
of a twofold danger by the faithful shepherd, from outward ene- 
mies, and from internal discord, precisely the same by which the 
people, according to v. 6, in case of their stiff-necked obduracy, 
should be destroyed. Now, so long as the last effort to lead them 
to repentance endures, the danger is still warded off by the faithful 
shepherd. Afterwards it breaks in upon them with fearful power. 
— Most interpreters take D;>j in the sense loveliness or beauty, (Sev- 
enty, KuUog. Aquila and Symm. sinQinsia. Jerome, decus.) But, 
according to this interpretation, the appellation would have but little 
significance ; the staiT signifies, even according to v. 10, the mercy 
of the Lord, whereby he secures the people against destruction 
from outward enemies. Moreover Dj^b, however frequently this may 
have been asserted, never has the meaning loveliness, but rather 
always that of kindness, favor, which has been proved to belong 
to it in this passage by J. D. Michaelis (Supplem. p. 1630), with 
the remark, that the meaning loveliness can have no relation to 
the following D^'l^n, however the latter may be interpreted. Ps. 
90: 17, (" May np of the Lord our God be upon us,") the sense 
favor needs no farther proof. Prov, 15: 26, " An abomination to 
the Lord are the thoughts of the wicked, and pure are Up'i ^'?.'Qii," 
is plainly to be translated words of kindness, as clearly appears from 
the antithesis with the thoughts of the wicked, his plots for the 
destruction of others. Equally obvious is the meaning fanor, chap. 
3 : 17, 16 : 24. Ps. 27 : 4, is to be translated, " to behold the favor 
of the Lord (iTin: d;'j)," i. q. to enjoy his favor. — The second name 
D"''??n, according to an interpretation widely diffused, is taken in a 
bad sense, either in the sense perdenfes, or dolentcs, therefore, as an 
antithesis to the stafT kindness, the staff woe, with which the people 

ZEOHARfAH Chap. 11 171 

should be punished in case they should reject the pastoral office of 
the Lord. Thus, among the moderns, Theiner (kindness and tor- 
ment), and Sack, (1. c. p. 301,) who remarks, an antithesis of mild- 
ness and severity is almost necessarily required by the connexion. 
It is seldom, however, that we find an interpretation so widely spread, 
which can be shown by such decisive arguments to be erroneous. 
1. The vei'b Snn has neither in Kal nor in Niphal the sense to cor- 
rupt or to become corrupted, and mucii less to experience pain. And 
we very much wonder, that the meaning corrnpit, which has already 
been contested by Gousset, and so admirably by Schultens {ad Jo- 
hum, p. 964), should slill be always given in the Lexicons as un- 
doubted. The passage on which it is grounded can easily be set 
aside. Neh. 1:7, " We have sinned against thee," ':]S ijSnn Shn, 
is commonly translated, " We have become corrupt to thee," or " We 
have acted wickedly towards thee," but it must rather be, " We are 
pledged to thee," omni pignore obstricti tibi tcnemur ad, poenam, 
which Schultens appropriately explains out of the Arabic Sentences; 
" Every man is pledged to death, every evil doer to punishment," or 
"Every man pledges himself in that which he does." Job 34 : 31, 
the common explanation is, " I repent and will no more do evil," 
(SnHk^ ah.) But it must rather be explained, luo quod non con- 
traxi, jpoenas pendo innocens ; properly, " I repent, or suffer without 
having pledged myself" In like manner, Frov. 13: 13, " Whoever 
despises the word, lS S^n;., is pledged to himself," viz. to punish- 
ment. So in Kal and Niphal there is not a single example in which 
the sense to destroy is even probable. That it occurs in Pi. can prove 
nothing. For this may be founded in a modification of the idea of the 
verb, produced by the conjugation. Snn, to bind, and to be bound, 
in Pi. to ensnare, and then destroy. It is unnecessary with the 
recent lexicographers (comp. e. g. Winer, s. v.) to assume, that a 
double Toot is combined in hyr\. Abicht 1. c. p. 1100, has already 
shown how all the senses are derived from one original meaning, to 
bind, and to be bound. 2. It is an objection to this interpretation, as 
Calvin has already remarked, that the Lord uses this staff in taking 
care ofthe flock during the day of mercy, and when that terminates, 
according to v. 14, breaks it in pieces. Hence it is manifest, that 
the staff must designate, not punishments, but blessings. As the 
breaking ofthe first staff, so also does that of the second, signify the 
withdrawal of a divine blessing, and, accordingly, the taking of it 
must signify the imparting of such a blessing, and indeed especially 

172 ZECHARIAH Chap. H. 

that of harmony among the people themselves, since this is done 
away by the breaking of the staff". 3. In this interpretation also, it 
is difficult to explain the plural. — Other interpreters, seeing it to be 
inadmissible, have attributed to the word the sense of binding, and 
indeed under a threefold modification. Several ancient interpreters 
give to the word the sense cord, while they regarded "75n either only 
as a different form of Snn, cord, or pointed differently. So the Sev- 
enty, Aquil., Symm. Jerome : " Et alteram vocavi funiciilos." Then 
Calvin, who points D'S^n. Others, as Drusius, Fuller, Mark, take 
the word as a participle in an active sense, " those who bind." 
Others finally, after De Dieu, as a participle in a passive sense, " the 
allied," or "the confederated." There can indeed be no doubt, that 
the word in general means to bind, and that not merely in a literal, 
but also in a metaphorical sense. This is shown by the derivative 
words Son a sailor, (ligator funis nautici,) ^SH cord, and connexion, 
company (S^n CN^?;, 1 Sam. 10 : 5, 10, rightly the Seventy, ^ogog 
TtQocprjTcov), niSpnn, consiUa {nectcre dolos.) But there can be just 
as little doubt, that Snn in the Hebrew, along with the active has 
also the passive sense. This appears even from the metaphorical use 
of the verb to pledge, it signifies not merely to pledge (to bind one 
to others), but also to be pledged, to pledge one's self (to be bound, 
and to bind one's self), comp. the cited passages fronj Job and Nehe- 

miah. In the Arabic, the two corresponding verbs (J**'^andU'' , 
originally constituting only one root, in the first conjugation, together 
with the active, have also the passive, and reflexive meaning. 

^Vi^^ to pledge and to destroy, both arising from the idea of bind- 
ing, the latter inasmuch as that which is destroyed finds itself under 

/ / 
constraint, in a forced condition, A■^^ demens, maniacus fuit, to 

11/ ' II 

be bound in spirit. \.fi.:^ foe,dus inivit, and A-1-^" prcegnans fuit, 

a condition of corporeal bondage, as madness is of spiritual. The 
choice accordingly cannot be difficult among the three modifica- 
tions which have been mentioned. The first, as being arbitrary, 
cannot come under consideration ; the second is untenable, because 
it furnishes no reason for the use of the plural ; for who should the 
binders be. The third has every thing in its favor. According to 
this, in full accordance with v. 14, by the second staff" is designated 
the brotherly concord, existing among the covenant people them- 

ZECIIARIAH Chap. 11. 173 

selves, through the influence of the Lord during the time of mercy, 
— |j<:^n-n5;? "^i^^.^i, " and so I fed the flock," is not a superfluous 
repetition, but indicates that the staff" was used in feeding. Cor- 
rectly, as to the sense, several, quibus pavi grcgcm. 

V. 8. " And I extirpated the three shepherds in one months and J 
was disgusted with them ; and also their soul rebelled against me." 
We here first inquire, who is to be understood by the three shep- 
herds. We reject at once the view of those, who, as Calvin, Jahn, 
Rosenmiiller, suppose, that the definite number here stands for the ' 
indefinite, three for several. It must then instead of" the three shep- 
herds," necessarily read " three shepherds," (comp. Ewald, p. 568.) 
In like manner, the article decides against those who understand, by 
the three shepherds, three definite individuals. These individuals 
must then either be already mentioned in the preceding context, so 
that it was requisite only to refer to them, — but here no mention 
has preceded, — or the prophet must have presupposed them to be so 
well known to his hearers, that they could not be mistaken. But 
here it is equally difficult to find three such individuals. This is 
evident from the fact, that, among the defenders of the reference to 
three individuals, scarcely two coincide in determining who they 
are. To this must be added, that the most of these interpretations 
are to be at once rejected, because they seek the three shepherds in 
the time before the Babylonish exile, while the discourse here re- 
lates to a future event. There can therefore be no doubt,' that the 
prophet speaks, not of three individual shepherds, but of three orders 
of shepherds. Those who have perceived this, divide again into 
different classes. Junius and Trem., Piscator and Lightfoot, under- 
stand the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes, an opinion which is 
at once to be rejected, because these Jewish parties could not be 
designated as the shepherds of the people; Mark, the civil, ecclesi- 
astical, and military leaders ; but he has furnished no proof that the 
latter are anywhere represented, as one of the pastoral orders exist- 
ing in the Theocracy. If it is established, that by " the three shep- 
herds " are designated the three classes of shepherds, or leaders of the 
people existing in the Theocracy, the only correct course must be, 
to inquire, whether in Zechariah himself, or in the other authors of 
the Old Testament, especially those who lived nearest to him, three 
classes of shepherds are mentioned, as the only leaders of the The- 
ocracy. If we proceed in this way, it appears that Zechariah can- 
not possibly have had in view any other than the civil magistrates, 

174 ZECHARIAH Chap. U. 

the priests, and the prophets. This interpretation is the most an- 
cient of all. It is found in Theodoret : Tovg %vdai(av liyu ^aadeag, 
xul ngoqirjTcig xal Ugiag. dice yaq xoviviv ruiv tqiuv inoifiaivovTO Tuy- 
piaioiv. Likewise Cyril, only that he substitutes the scribes for the 
prophets, for a reason which may be easily conceived : Olfiai 8r) ovv, 
oxi jQEig ovofid^si noifiivag, rovg te xcnu vofiov IsgaTSVovTag, xal zovg xe- 
vctyfiivovg xgirdg xov ).aov, xal ngoasxt, xovxoig xovg ygu/.i/LtaioEiaaywyEig, 
xaxi^ooxov yug ovioi xov ^lagarjX. Jerome also mentions it : " Legi 
in cujusdam commtntariis -pastores domini indignatione succisos in 
sacerdotibus, etfolsis prophetis, c.t regibus intelligi JudcBorum, quod 
post passioncm Christi uno omnia succisa si7it tempore." That it 
was not exclusively prevalent in later times, arose from the difficulty 
of showing the existence of the prophetic order in the time of Christ. 
How else could other shepherds have been thought of than those 
who uniformly occur in connexion, as such, to the exclusion of all 
others, and who at the same time, as here, are represented as the 
chief cause of the destruction and misery of the people? Numerous 
passages of Jeremiah may be compared, e. g. 2 : 8, " The priests 
spake not, Where is the Lord ? the students of the law (likewise the 
priests) knew me not, the shepherds (here especially of the civil 
magistrates) sinned against me, and the prophets prophesied in 
Baal " ; v. 26, " As the thief is ashamed when he is caught, so shall 
the house of Israel be ashamed, they, — their kings, their princes 
(both together constitute the one order of. the civil magistrates), 
and their priests, and their prophets." 18 : 18, " And they say ; Up, 
let us lay plots against Jeremiah ; for the law cannot perish from the 
priests, nor counsel from the wise (counsel along with might, the 
peculiar attribute of the civil magistrates, n^UJ), nor the word of 
the prophets." If we compare Zechariah himself, we find the two 
other classes of shepherds, together with the prophetic order, which 
he himself represents, most definitely mentioned, chap. 4 : 12 - 14, 
To the question, What are the two branches of the olive trees, which 
supply the candlesticks (the Theocracy) with the oil expressed from 
their fruits ? the prophet receives the answer, " These are the two 
oil-children, who stand before the Lord of the whole earth." Here 
the priesthood and the civil magistracy are designated as the two 
orders, through whom the Lord imparts his grace to the Theocracy, 
the former at that time represented by Joshua, the other by Zerub- 
babel. For that these were designated, not as individuals, appears 
from the comparison of chap. 3, where Joshua uniformly appears. 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 175 

not as an individual, but as a representative, partly of the priesthood, 
partly of the whole people. The passage is therefore so far analo- 
gous to this, that in it the orders of the leaders of the people appear 
personified as individuals. In this relation, Mai. 2:7, is still to be 
compared, where the order of the priesthood is called " the servant of 
the Lord of Hosts." — The only difliculty that still remains, is, how 
the prophetic order can here be mentioned together with the three 
orders of leaders in the Theocracy, since it had already ceased at 
the time of the fulfilment. We answer, the prophet, in accordance 
with the nature of prophecy, here also designates the future, by an 
analogy existing in his time. As the order of the civil shepherds 
continued, even when the kingdom had come to an end, so also the 
prophetic order, as to its essence, continued after the cessation of the 
prophetic gift. Its destination was, to impart to the people the word 
and will of God, Jer. 18 : 18. Before the completion of the Canon, 
this was done by a revelation granted immediately to them, and 
afterwards by the investigation of former revelations under the guid- 
ance of the spirit of God, and by the application of them to the ex- 
isting relations. In the place of the prophets succeeded the scribes, 
to whom, according to Sirach, chap. 39, the Lord richly gave the 
spirit of understanding, who studied the wisdom of the ancients and 
searched the prophets, who propounded doctrine and judgment, and 
by whom wise sentences were invented. They stood to the ancient 
prophets in the same relation as the enlightened teachers of the later 
Christian church to the prophets of the New Testament. — The 
question now arises, what is to be understood by the extirpation of 
the three shepherds. Several interpreters suppose a literal extirpa- 
tion of the individuals. But then they are embarrassed by the cir- 
cumstance, that the extirpation of the shepherds precedes the break- 
ing of the staves. The method by which they have endeavoured to 
free themselves from this embarrassment is inadmissible. (Frisch- 
muth : " Bene Sanctius monet kystei-^n proteron hie esse, sive prolep- 
sin, quando quidem is ordo rerum sit, ut prius iratus fuerit et virga 
abscissa, qiiam pastores occiderentur. Aique hcec trajectio itidem 
Abarhaneli obscrvata."] The following /m^. with vau convers. must 
then be understood as pluperfect ; but this tense forms the exact 
antithesis to the fut. with van convers. ; Ewald, p. 543. Actions 
which are expressed by a series offut. with vau convers. must always 
follow each other in regular succession ; Ewald, p. 541. It cannot, 
therefore, be a literal extirpation which is spoken of, because imme- 

176 ZECIIARIAH Chap. 11. 

diately thereafter, the shepherds appear as still in existence. It is 
they who provoke the good shepherd to impatience, and manifest the 
utmost hostility towards him, which likewise, on account of the use 
o^ihefut. with vau convers. ("ivr?ni), is not to be regarded as preced- 
ing the extirpation, but as its consequence. It is their obstinate 
resistance, rendering useless all his pastoral efforts, which moves 
him to break the staves, and relinquish his office. We can there- 
fore conceive only of an extirpation of the shepherds, as such, i. e. 
a deposition of them from their pastoral office. To effect this was 
the most zealous object of the Lord during his pastoral office ; but 
the same disposition, which rendered them deserving of this, also 
prevented the sentence, spoken against them with full authority, 
from being carried into execution in its whole extent. Only the 
most miserable of the sheep, who have regard to the Lord, (v. 11,) 
withdrew themselves from their pernicious guidance. After the 
rejection of the whole people, who knew not their own good, the 
sentence was first executed in its whole extent by foreign foes, 
while the people did not now receive good shepherds instead of bad, 
which would have been the case, if they had themselves carried into 
execution the good shepherd's decree of extirpation. — The extirpa- 
tion of the shepherds happened in one month. This cannot, as 
Kimchi, Calvin, and others suppose, stand simply for " i?t a little 
time." Hitzig might then justly ask, 1. c. p. 30, " Wherefore then 
the month, when probably a day or hour would be more suitably 
mentioned ? " That tlie prophet, if he designed merely to express the 
shortest time, would rather have said, " in one day," appears espe- 
cially from the parallel passage, chap. 3 : 9, where it is said of the 
atonement to be effected by the Messiah : " I blot out the sin of this 
land in one day," ("in>>>' Di'?.) The expression, "in one month," as 
whose terminus a quo the commencement of the pastoral office is to 
be taken, expresses rather, in relation to the phrase " in one day," a 
longer, and in relation to all other periods, a shorter time. It shows, 
that the extirpation of the three shepherds is not, like the atonement, 
to be considered as a single act, but as one protracted for some time. 
Thus, therefore, in a very appropriate manner, the continued efforts 
of Christ are designated, to deliver the poor people, the lost sheep 
of the house of Israel, out of the spiritual power of their blind and 
corrupt leaders. — Dnn "'tJ'gj ii*j5i?l, properly brevis facta est anima 
mea in eis. Rightly Schullens on Prov. 20 : 21 : " Ea phrasis non 
tarn tcedium signiftcat, qiiam indignationem ex intoUrandis injuriis 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 177 

oriundam, sub quibus anima velut angatur ac suffocetur. — Ubique 
impatientia gravissime vexati, oppressi, elisi, qui viz rtspirare queat 
amplius, elucel.'' The verb Sna is here explained by most interpre- 
ters, according to a comparison of the Syriac, by to experience dis- 
gust. But this is not entirely accurate. Schultens I. c. has already 
shown, that the verb designates the inimical disposition of the three 
shepherds against the good shepherd, and at the same time its 
moral turpitude ; and therefore it could not have been used of the 
disposition of the good shepherd towards the bad. In Arabic (V^'? 
designates, in general, a low, vile disposition, and is used especially 
of base avarice. In Hebrew this meaning prevails in the only pas- 
sage besides, where the verb occurs, Prov. 20 : 21. ri'^rinr? nSqj ia 
there, an inheritance obtained in a base manner. The evil shep- 
herds are inflamed with mean hatred against the good shepherd, 
because he exposes their meanness, and will take from them their 
dominion. They do all in their power, therefore, to hinder him in 
the execution of his commission. Their soul does not, according to 
the favorite supposition of the recent interpreters of the Psalms, 
stand for the bare personal pronoun, just as if one should assert, 
that " he causes me grief in the soul" is nothing more than, " he 
causes me grief" ; it rather signifies the violence and depth of the 

V. 9. " Thus said I then : I will not feed you ; that which dies, 
shall die, that which is destroyed, shall be destroyed, and those that 
remain, shall consume one another." Calvin : " Quando no7i sunt 
sanabiles, neque remedium patiuntur adhiberi suis malis,jam reUnquo 
eos ; experientur, quid sit carere bono pastore." The feminines of 
the verse are to be referred to the sheep. Alter the Seventy (mtio- 
■&vi]axiTb)), and Jerome, several take the futures optatively ; but this 
is forbidden by the form, for, in that case, theyw^. apoc. must stand 
instead of nion, Ewald, p. 527. We must, therefore, rather under- 
stand the future as. prophetical. The dead and the destroyed, that 
which is devoted to so sure a destruction, that it can be already 
considered as dead and destroyed. This destruction could have 
been turned aside only by obedience to the good shepherd. Now, 
since he has been compelled to relinquish his office, the matter 
takes its natural course. A threefold sort of destruction is here 
given, as the comparison of parallel passages shows ; contagious dis* 
eases, as they are accustomed to arise in besieged cities, (" the dead 
will die") a violent death by foreign enemies, and a fearful rage of 

VOL. II. 23 

178 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

the citizens against one another, occasioned by the distress. These 
passages are as follows : Jer. 15 : 1, 2 ; " And the Lord said to me : 
Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, my mind could not be 
towards this people, cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth. 
And if they say unto thee : Whither shall we go forth? then thou 
shall tell them, Thus saith the Lord, he that is for death, (is destined, 
he goes) to death, and he who is for the sword, to the sword ; he who 
is for hunger, to hunger ; and he who is for captivity, to captivity." 
34 : 17, " Behold, ye have not hearkened, that ye proclaim liberty, 
every one for his brother, and every one for his neighbour; behold, 
I proclaim then for you a liberty to the sword, to the pestilence, and 
to \\\e famine." Ezek. 6 : 12, " That which is afar off shall die by the 
pestilence, that which is near shall fall by the sword, and that which 
remains and is preserved shall die by hunger." Comp. also below, 
chap. 13 : 8, where " they shall die on the sick bed,?;'!^'.," and " they 
shall be extirpated, ^n'^3';," correspond to non and nn3n. That this 
threefold sort of destruction actually effected the overthrow of the 
Jewish slate, needs no farther proof. — " And those which are left 
shall cat the jitsh one of another." Mark : " Ex rabie fcro, in 
quant prceter naturam hm oves degenerahunt." In a manner entirely 
similar the rage of the citizens of the kingdom of Israel against one 
another before its destruction, occasioned by their distress, is de- 
scribed in Isaiah 9: IS sq. " They spare not one another. They 
devour on the right hand, they devour on the left hand, and are not 
satisfied, each one devours the flesh of his arm," (he rages against 
his own flesh, inasmuch as those who devour one another are mem- 
bers of one community, one political body.) 

V. 10. " And so I took my staff Grace and brake it, that I might 
abolish my covenant which I had concluded with all nations." That 
which had been predicted in the preceding verse in words, is here, 
and v. 14, indicated by a double symbolical action; the devastation 
by foreign nations by the breaking of the staff Kindness or Grace, 
the internal discord by the breaking of the staff of the Allied, or 
more correctly, the prediction contained in the following verse, is 
here followed by the- account of its execution. Calvin: " Emphatice 
hoc dictum, est, quasi diceret propheta, non debere adscribi fortunce, 
quod res in detcrius nmtatce sint, quia hoc modo exsecutus sit domi- 
nus judicium suum, postquam niriiis vatienter tiderit maUtiam popu- 
li." The image of the flock is not strictly preserved ; the thing 
signified appears in the phrase, " with all nations"; in accordance 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 179 

with the image it must have been, " with all wild beasts." Comp. 
Is. 50 : 9, " All ye beasts of the field, come to devour ; come, all ye 
beasts in the wood." The thought, that hitherto the covenant people 
had been preserved by a secret influence of the divine omnipotence 
from destruction by foreign foes, is figuratively expressed, as though 
the Lord had made a covenant for tiie good of the Israelites, with 
all nations of the earth, which is now abolished by the breaking of 
the staff Grace. A similar figurative representation is found else- 
where also. Thus it is said. Job 5:23, in order to express the 
thought, that no creature could injure him who was befriended by 
God; "For with the stones of the field shall be thy covenant, and 
the beasts of the field shall befriend thee." Thus it is said, Hos. 
2 : 20, to designate the security of the covenant people before earthly 
foes, after they had obtained favor from their chief foe, the Lord ; 
" And [ make for them a covenant in this day with the beasts of 
the field, and the fowls of the heaven, and the worm of the earth; 
and I will break the bow, and the sword, and the war, and I make 
them dwell safely." But the passage which Zechariah seems to 
have had immediately in view, is that of Ezek. 31 : 25, " And I 
conclude for them a covenant of peace, and make the evd beasts to 
cease out of the land, and they dwell in the wilderness securely, and 
sleep in the woods," which differs from the one before us, only in 
more strictly preserving the image of a flock. Zechariah announces, 
that this covenant, concluded after the return from the exile, by the 
Lord, for the good of his people, should now be abolished by the 
punishment of their shocking apostasy. — Had due regard been 
paid to these parallel passages we should scarcely have had to men- 
tion other interpretations of the verse. That by Blaney, " in order to 
annul my covenant, which I had concluded biifore all nations, coram 
omnibus populi^," does not deserve to be refuted ; perhaps, however, 
that may, according to which, by " the nations," the tribes of Lsrael 
are understood. (Mark : " Cum numerosis Irihubus Israel.") It is 
liable to the objection, that, by the breaking of the staff Grace, a 
special effect- of the divine displeasure must be intended, because 
otherwise the breaking of the staff of the Allied does not accord with 
it. Moreover, even assuming, that, by " the nations," the tribes of 
Israel could be designated, still this interpretation is here excluded 
by the subjoined "^3. But the assertion, that U"?p not unfrequently 
stands for the tribes of Israel, is entirely erroneous. 1 he word 
D'?;r never occurs simply in this sense. The passages which are 

180 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

cited in favor of it (comp. e. g. Winer, s. v.) fall into three classes. 
1. Those in wjiich this supposition is entirely groundless, as Gen. 
49 : 10, Deut. 32 : 8, Is. 62 : 10, (according to Ges. on the passage,) 
where the □'?;? plainly designates heathen nations. 2. Those where 
Q"";'^ stands in the sense pevple, e. g. I.ev. J9 : 16, " Thou shalt not 
calumniate ^"'ifjn." 21 : 14, " He married a virgin V^^^n," (comp. 
7 : 20, 21:1, 4, &c.) Deut. 33: 3. If it there refer to the tribes, 
it must have the article ; the meaning people appears also from 
V. 19, where it is said of Zebulon and Issachar, " People will call 
them to the mountain." 3. Those where DTi' is spoken of the 
Israelitish tribes only by a kind of hyperbole, by a silent comparison 
with numerous nations. Thus, perhaps. Gen. 28 : 3, in the promise 
to Abraham, " Thou shalt l)ecome a multitude of nations," although 
here also a concurrent reference to the other nations, to bs descended 
from Abraham, can be assumed ; certainly, however, chap. 48 : 4, 
in the promise to Jacob, " I make thee for a multitude of nations." 
Surely we cannot conclude from this passage, that D'^SJ^ could be 
used also of the Israelites, where it is not the object, as there, to 
render prominent the great increase of the people, in contrast with 
their small beginning. 

V. 11. "And so was the covenant in that day abolished; and 
therefore the most miserable sheep, lolio adhered to me, experienced 
that this is the tvord of the Lord." It appears from this verse, that 
the efforts of the good shepherd were still not entirely in vain, but 
that a small remnant of true disciples joined him. These were de- 
signated by those, who observed him, had their eye directed contin- 
ually to him, did all in accordance with his nod and will. As, after 
the abolition of the covenant, the enemies invaded the land, they 
perceived, that what had been spoken beforehand of the destruction 
to be effected by the Lord, was no empty human threatening, but 
really a divine prophecy. The prophet here also employs the past, 
because that which was represented in his inward vision, had already 
taken place. Were the prophecy divested of the drapery of a sym- 
bolic action, it would read, " Then when my covenant has been 
abolished, my worshippers shall know, from the fulfilment, the divine 
origin of this my sentence concerning Israel." N-in relates to the 
prediction contained in v. 9, 10. Verbally parallel is Jer. 32: 6-8, 
" The Lord said to me ; behold, Hanameel comes to thee saying, 
buy my field ; and Hanameel came to me and said. Buy yet my 
field, xn nlnriDl •'? Vl^l, and so I knew, that it was the word 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 181 

of the Lord." By the fulfilment of the divine word, Jeremiah is 
here still more firmly convinced, that he has not confounded a 
human suggestion with a divine revelation. That the fulfilment 
would testify for the divine origin of his prophecies, is a favorite 
remark of Zechariah, comp. 2 : 13, where the angel of the Lord 
says, " Then shall ye know that the Lord of Hosts has sent me." 
In like manner, v. 15, 6 : 15, in the daij, viz. "on which I had bro- 
ken my staff" ; or, without a figure, " after I had turned away my 
favor from the people, the hostile nations hitherto restrained by me, 
fell upon them." jD, therefore, even from this. 

V. 12. " And I said to them ; If it seems good to you, give me my 
reward; if not, tvithholdit ; and they tveighed to me as my reicard 
thirty pieces of silver.^' " And I said to them : " Jahn remarks, that 
this cannot refer to the flock, but to the shepherds, because only 
from them could the reward be demanded. But this is incorrect. 
Since the shepherd deals with the flock itself respecting that, which 
in other cases was wont to be transacted only with the owner, he 
shows, that this flock consists of rational creatures. With the ex- 
clusion of the inferior and more despised portion of the people, with 
whom the pastoral office of the Lord, as had been said in the fore- 
going verse, had been attended with a desirable result, he here 
treats with the greater and more powerful portion, who had com- 
pelled him by their obstinacy to relinquish his office. It is true, 
that in this transaction the leaders of the people are chiefly to be 
considered, not, however, as shepherds, but as members of the flock, 
as also in Ezek. chap. 34, they appear now as shepherds, now as he- 
goats, or as fat sheep, in contrast with those which are poor. Of the 
shepherds as such, the Lord could not demand the reward, because 
he had not devoted himself at all to their service, but had endeavour- 
ed to rescue the flock from them. The sense of the words. If it seems 
good to you, give me my retcard ; if not, withhold it, is well unfolded 
by Calvin : " Hie exprimit snmmam indignationem, quemadmodum 
si quis exprobret malitiam ct ingratitudinem proximo svo : Agnosce 
hencficium, si voles ; sin minus, mihi perierit ; ego non euro : ego 
video te esse nehulonem, qui indignus fueras, quern ego liberaliter 
tractarcm. Ego igitur nihil moror tuns compensationes, sed interea 
tuum erat videre, quid mihi debercs.'" The parallel passages are 
Jer. 40 : 4, " If it is good in thine eyes to go with me to Babylon, 
go; and, if it is evil in thine eyes, refrain, Snn." Ezek. 3:27, 
" Thus saith the Lord : He that hears, let him hear, and he that 

182 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

refrains, let him refrain, S^^n^ '?."?n7?.1," comp. 2:5-7, 3 : 11, Jer. 
26 : 14. — My reward, that which I deserve, which I have earned by 
severe labor. They weighed; gold for a long time was not counted, 
but weighed ; hence, long after this practice had ceased, they used 
the expression " to weigh " for " to count," comp. Jahn, Archdol. 
I. 2, § 138. By the reward, the interpreters for the most part un- 
derstand repentance and faith. So Jarchi : " Servate prccceptum 
meum ; hcsc enim merces mea erit pro omni bono, quod dedi vobis, 
quemadmodum sua pastori merces datur." Theodoret : 'Evzavda 
Toli'vv oItH fiiv avTovg o dsanoiijg j^ia&ov xijg evfQysalag xi]v nioTiv ' 
ol Se avTi TavTrig zovg T^Luaoixn tdoauv aqyvQovg. Eusebius : Aliatv 
avToi'g cag slxog xuqnovg svaf^siag xai dsiyfia trjg ug avxov niaTsag. 
Two interpretations in reference to the thirty pieces of silver, are 
adopted by those who do not, like far the greater number of Chris- 
tian interpreters, find a direct and exclusive reference to the thirty 
pieces of silver, received by Judas. The one is that of Jarchi and 
Kimchi : " Fucrunt pauci inter illos honi, facicntes voluntatem 
?)icani." The other, that of Calvin and Grotius, which we give in 
the words of the former : " Per vile pretium, quod bubulco dignum 
esset, intelligit frivolas nugas, quibus Judcbi putabant se posse satis- 
facere deo. Requirit cordis intcgritatem, ct ideo se nobis addicit, ut 
vicissiin nos totos possideat. Hoc igitur erat pretium laboris, quod 
dominus fuerat meritus, hcec erat justa merces, si se in obsequium 
totos JudcBi addicerent ejus verbo." — But all these interpretations 
are untenable. We cannot, by the reward, understand faith or 
piety of heart; for the Lord does not demand this reward, until he 
has already entirely given over the people, withdrawn his favor from 
them, until therefore they could no longer bring forth the fruits of 
repentance, but were rather devoted to destruction. This demand 
was made during the time of his pastoral office. By the thirty pieces 
of silver, we cannot understand the repentance and faith of the few 
believers ; for then they would be something good, while still, accord- 
ing to V. 13, they were to be thrown into an unclean place. As 
little can they mean sacrifices and ceremonies, without faith. For 
these must be more particularly specified, which is not done in any 
measure except on the false supposition, that by the reward, which 
the Lord required, faith and sincere piety were designated, — 
Rather, only the thought is expressed, that after the Lord has given 
up his pastoral office, and already proclaimed the woe upon Jerusa- 
lem, the people have sinned against him by an action of the blackest 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 183 

ingratitude. That the good shepherd had well-groiinded claims to 
the gratitude of the people, is expressed by. his asking them for the 
reward of his services ; the wicked ingratitude of the people, by 
their offering to weigh him thirty pieces of silver, a sum so con- 
temptible {Maimonides, Mor. Nib. C. 40. Part. 3, ^' vt plus minus 
reperies liomincm liberum ccstimari sexaginta siclis, servutn vera 
triginta" ; comp, Exod. 21 : 32), that the offer of it for such ser- 
vices, performed by such a person, is more offensive than an entire 
refusal, and therefore suited rather to heighten than diminish the 
ingratitude, a thought which in the following verse is embodied in a 
symbolic action. That by this, the only correct interpretation, much 
insight is gained into (he prophecy itself, as well as its relation to 
the evangelical history, is obvious. 

V. 13. "And the Lord said to mc ; throw it to the potter, the 
glorious price at lohich I am estimated hy them ; and I took the thirty 
pieces of silver, and cast them into the house of the Lord, that they 
might "be carried from there to the potter." The Lord addresses the 
prophet, who represents his person. This clearly appears from " at 
which I have been estimated." The verb ■^Sj^'H, " to cast away," 
sometimes with the accessory idea of contempt; comp. Jer. 22 : 19, 
" He (Jehoiakim) shall be cast away beyond the gates of Jerusalem." 
52 : 3, " Until he cast them away from his sight." Ez. 20 : 8. The 
expression to the putter could not have been so variously misunder- 
stood, nor, as it has happened in the case of Rosenmiiller, {Etsi vero 
h(EC verba satis sint aperta, sensu tamen ita sunt occulta, nt cum 
sagacioribiis enucleandum reliiiquere coacti simus,) would the inter- 
pretation have been entirely given over on account of it, if the aids 
to be found in Jeremiah had been carefully employed, who performs 
the same service for Zechariah, as Ezekiel and Daniel for the 
Apocalypse. The conviction would then have been soon produced, 
that " to the potter " here is the same as " in an unclean place, to 
the executioner, or to the flayer." The potter, who is here meant, 
(probably, as appears from the concurrent use of the article here, in 
Jeremiah, and Matthew, the potter who worked for the temple, 
since it cannot be supposed, that, in general, there was but one 
potter for all Jerusalem,) had his workshop in the valley of Hinnora, 
probably because the earth, required for his business, was found 
there in peculiar abundance, or of a better quality. This appears 
from the following reasons. That the workshop was out of the city, 
and indeed in the valley which lies beneath it, appears from Jer. 

184 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

18 : 1, where the prophet, while in the temple, receives the command, 
"Arise, go down to the house of the potter; " comp. v. 3, " And 
I went down to the house of the potter." But we are led especially 
to the valley of Hinnom by Jer. 19 : 2. "Go down to the valley of 
the son of Hinnom, which lies in the brick gate, and proclaim there 
the words which I will speak to thee." According to this, the gate, 
which led to the valley of Hinnom, was called the brick or pot gate, 
from the pottery before it. For that niD"^nn li'^ must be thus 
translated (comp. Winer, s. v.) properly " the gate of the pottery," 
appears from the plain allusion to v. 1, where tfM.n would have been 
superfluous, as well as from the fact that Jeremiah would not have 
named the gate before which the valley of Hinnom lay, because 
generally known and elsewhere designated only by the name of 
the valley-gate, (comp. Neh. 2 : 13 - 15, with Jer. 2 : 23, in which 
latter place the valley of Hinnom is called i^oyJ]v the valley,) if 
there were not a reference to the thing itself in the appellation of 
the gate. Tiie valley of Hinnom, however, formerly the scene of 
the most frightful idolatrous abominations, was regarded by the later 
Jews with disgust and horror, as an unclean place, after Josiah had 
polluted it by carrion, human bones, and such like, comp, 2 Kings 
23: 10; so that finally even the opinion expressed in the Talmud 
was formed, that there was the mouth of hell ; comp. Lightfoot, 
Centur. Chorograph. Matth. PrcBin. Opp. t. II. p. 200 : " Sub 
templum secundum, cum evannerant ea, qua: csternam infamiam huic 
loco inusseruni, remansit tamen tantum fosditatis atque abominandi 
nominis, ut ttiam jam vivam reprcBsentationem orci ceque pro; se fer- 
ret, ac olim. — Erat communis totius u7-bis sentina, quo conjiuzit 
sordes omnis atque omnimoda spur cities.''' That Zechariah caused 
the base reward to be thrown into the valley of Hinnom, in general, 
and that he designates, as the particular place, the workshop or the 
field of the potter, have each a distinct reference to a prophecy of 
Jeremiah, and presuppose readers acquainted with his writings. 
The first refers to Jeremiah, chap. 19. The prophet there throws 
an empty earthen flask into the valley of Hinnom, accompanied by 
several of the oldest of the people and most distinguished priests. 
The meaning of this symbolic action is thus given : " Because they 
have filled this place with the blood of the innocent, — so I empty 
out the council of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I make 
them fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of 
those who seek their life, and give their corpses for food to the fowls 

ZECHARIAH Chaf. Jl. 185 

of heaven and the beasts of the earth. — So will 1 break this people 
and this city, as one breaks the vessels of a potter, which can no more 
be mended ; and in Tophet shall they bury, because there is no more 
room. — Thus will 1 do to this place and its inhabitants, and make 
this city like Tophet. And the houses of Jerusalem and the houses 
of the kings of Judah shall be unclean as the place Tophet," Zech- 
ariah now causes the base reward to be thrown into the valley of the 
son of Hinnom or Tophet, in general because this was an unclean 
place, but especially in order to resume the prophecy of Jeremiah, 
and show that a second fulfilment of it was at hand, because the di- 
vine penal justice which had called forth the threatening, and its first 
fulfilment had been provoked anew, and indeed in a still mofe fear- 
ful manner. The memorial of the wicked ingratitude of the Jewish 
people, the corpus ddicti, is conveyed to tlie same place, from which 
their former abominations had cried to God, and provoked his ven- 
geance. It was there deposited, as it were a new pledge, which the 
people at the appointed time must redeem. — That precisely the 
possessions of the potter in the valley of Hinnom are chosen, is owing 
to Jeremiah, chap. IS. Jeremiah, at the command of the Lord, 
there makes a visit to the potter, who was just then at work. " And 
the vessel, which he was making out of the clay, was marred under 
his hands ; then he made again out of the clay another vessel, as it 
pleased him." The meaning of this symbol is then given, " Can I 
not therefore do to you also, ye house of Israel, as this potter, saith 
the Lord ? Behold, as the clay in the hand of the potter, so are ye 
in my hand. — Behold, I prepare for you misfortune, and entertain 
towards you thoughts of evil ; therefore return each one from his 
evil disposition, and amend your disposition and your conduct." 
This truth, that the Lord, without acknowledging them to have any 
claim upon him, could and would reject his apostate people, if they 
did not repent in time, is here anew rendered prominent by Zech- 
ariah, when he causes the poor reward to be brought into the place 
in which Jeremiah had originally uttered the threatening; a place, 
the peculiarity of which also, at the time of the prophet, when the 
potter had again set up his workshop there, was suited to make it 
an object of sense. This prophecy of Jeremiah had again resumed 
its full power, as the former apostasy, which, in the first instance, 
occasioned it, was but slight in comparison with the present, the 
wicked ingratitude of the people towards the Lord, who had himself 
taken charge of his flock. — We believe we have so vindicated our 
VOL. II. 24 

186 ZECHARIAH Chah. 11. 

interpretation, which justifies and completes what was surmised by 
Grotius, that the examination of others may appear more or less 
superfluous. The most unfortunate, though most pretending, is plain- 
ly that, which gives as the sense, " to the treasury " or " the treasu- 
rer," with an appeal to the authority of the Syriac, which translates 
freasure-house, while it is directly asserted, either with Kimchi and 
Theiner, that "li'r is synonymous with "li'lN, or, with Jonathan, the 
meaning treasurer is given to IVV, or, with Jahn and Hitzig (1. c. 
p. 35), the reading l^l'' is preferred, which will then be synonymous 
with 1Y1X. This interpretation is inadmissible, because even if the 
change of vowels be conceded, it understands the word in a sense 
in which it never elsewhere occurs, and is the more suspicious, the 
more frequently the word is found. It could surely have been ad- 
vanced only by those who overlooic the cited passages of Jeremiah. 
For, that there is a connexion between them and the passage before 
us, every one who looks at both must immediately perceive, although 
he may not at once discover the mode of this connexion ; and this 
will be the more evident when he takes notice how almost every 
verse of this chapter stands related to Jeremiah, and that, elsewhere 
also in the same, traces of the use of Jeremiah, 18 and 19, are found ; 
comp. with V. 9, Jer. 18: 21, 19: 9. It gives, however, no good 
sense, or rather it gives no sense at all. For how could the treasury 
of the temple be spoken of in this connexion ? By being received 
into that, the thirty pieces of silver would rather be honored. — Ver- 
batim, the excellency of the price which I have been estimated by 
them, for the excellent price, ironically, at which my person and my 
work have been valued by them ; comp. Deut. 32 : 6, "Give ye to 
the Lord such a reward, ye foolish, unwise people." — " A7id 1 cast 
it (the sum or the price) into the house of the Lord, that it might 
be conveyed from there to the potter." It is very obvious, that the 
gold could not be carried at the same time into the temple and to 
the potter. For the potter did not work in the temple, nor even in 
the city, but, as we have already seen, in the valley of Hinnom. 
It must, therefore, necessarily be assumed, that the temple was the 
first, the potter's the second station ; and this is also plainly enough 
expressed by the use of b^. before "IVTH ; hence " to the potter," for, 
"that it might be carried from there to the potter." The ques- 
tion, liowever, now arises, why the gold, which was finally to remain 
with the potter, was first cast into the temple. Plainly, because the 
temple was the place, where the people appeared before the face of 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 187 

the Lord, the council-house, as it were, where the magistrates and 
citizens transacted their affairs with one another. Here, therefore, 
must the shameful ingratitude of the people also be cast upon them 
by the return of the contemptible reward. From there it must then 
be conveyed to the potter, because unlawful gold must not remain 
in the temple; comp. Deut. 23 : 19, Tahn. Tract. San/udriu, {'. 112. 

We have hitherto unfolded the sense of v. 13 and 14, without 
reference to the fulfilment. The result is as follows. The Lord has 
at last once more undertaken the pastoral office over the flock 
devoted to destruction, the unhappy people, Israel ; as he again 
relinquishes it on account of their stiff-necked unbelief, he demands 
his reward ; they give him thirty pieces of silver, about the yearly 
wages of a common herdsman. He is not satisfied with this con- 
temptible reward, and casts it into the temple. From there, as un- 
clean, it is conveyed to the possession of the potter, where it is 
deposited until the day of judgment upon the people, as a pledge of 
the divine vengeance. We have learned, as the sense of this figura- 
tive repre.sentation, that the obduracy of the people, after the Lord 
should have given them up on account of it, would yet break forth 
in one great act of ingratitude towards him, and thereby make 
them fully ripe for the judgment. 

The agreement of prophecy and fulfilment is here so striking, that 
it would force itself upon us although it were indicated by no decla- 
ration of the New Testament. What could the last and most 
fearful expression of ingratitude towards the good shepherd, here 
predicted, be, other than the murderous plot by which the Jews re- 
warded the pastoral fidelity of Christ, and for whose accomplishment 
Judas was bribed ? But not merely in general, in the particulars 
also, we find the most accurate agreement between history and 
prophecy. The small reward of thirty pieces of silver, serves here 
in the first place only for a figurative designation of the blackest in- 
gratitude and the highest contempt on the part of the Jews. But, 
that, among all small sums, precisely this only was chosen, which 
afterwards the betrayer Judas actually received, must still surprise 
us, and cannot be without an object. As in the bribing of the 
betrayer Judas, in general, the blackest ingratitude is obvious, so 

188 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

are the foulest avarice, and the deepest contempt towards the Lord, 
manifest in the circumstance, that the priests allowed to Judas, 
when he left to them the determination of the reward (comp. Matt. 
26 : 15) only the contemptible sum of thirty pieces of silver. It can- 
not with Paulus (Comm. III. p. 683) be replied, that, according to 
Zechariah, the thirty "pieces of silver are counted to the shepherd, 
not to his betrayer. For, in the small reward which they gave to the 
betrayer, their contempt towards the shepherd manifests itself It 
happened by the arrangement of God, under whose secret influence 
even the ungodly stand, that Judas cast the gold into the temple, 
and that therefore their ingratitude, as inwardly in Zechariah, so 
here outwardly, is charged upon the people by a symbolic action in 
the place where they appeared before the face of the Lord. The 
priests removed the gold as unclean out of the temple, and pur- 
chased therewith a mean spot in the same valley, which already at 
an earlier period, polluted by innocent blood, had brought upon 
Jerusalem the vengeance of the Lord, predicted by Jeremiah, the 
same spot where Jeremiah once predicted to the people their rejec- 
tion. Here now lay the price of blood, Tifii) m/xaTog, (Matt. 27 : 6,) 
the reward for the betrayal of the innocent blood {aifxa a&wov, v. 4), 
from which the field received the name of the field of blood {uyQog 
aY/xmog, v. 8, comp. Act. 1 : 19), as a testimony against Israel, as a 
pledge by which he had bound himself to suffer the divine punish- 
ment, similar to the former, which he must now redeem ; so that the 
threatening, which Jeremiah had uttered in reference to this former 
abomination, is now again in full force. Chap. 19:4sq., "They 
have made this place full of innocent blood, — therefore, behold, 
days come, saith the Lord, when they shall no more call this place 
Tophet, and the valley of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter." 
We find the same also, chap. 7 : 32. In accordance with what ap- 
pears from a comparison of the account of the New Testament with 
Jeremiah and Zechariah, tradition also places the field of blood in 
the valley of Hinnom. Comp. Lightfoot in Acta Ap., Opp. II. 
p. 690. Pococke II. 38. Bachiene II. 1, p. 342. 

Still the result so clearly furnished by a comparison of the proph- 
ecy and history is confirmed by an express testimony of the apostle 
Matthew, chap. 27 : 9. This testimony presents certain difficulties, 
which we shall here examine. 

The form of citation must here first be considered, in which the 
prophecy is attributed not to Zechariah, but to .Teremiah, (roVf 

ZECHARIAH Chap. U. 18& 

inXij^a&r] to grj&ev 8ia "liQEfiiov xov TiQoqit'jTOV kiyovjog.) We will 
not here give a collection of the different views respecting this prob- 
lem ; there is already a sufficiency of such collections, the best of 
which is that by Mark, in the Ezcrcitationes Miscell. (well to be dis- 
tinguished from his Exercit. Textuales), Amsterd. 1690, p. 314 sq. 
We hope that the establishment of our own will contribute at the 
same time to the refutation of the rest, and thus, making a further 
mention of them more or less superfluous, will a little lighten the 
already sufficiently laden ship of the exegesis. 

Several older interpreters (Sanctius, Glassius, Frischmuth,) ex- 
press the opinion, that Matthew cited a passage compounded out of 
Jeremiah and Zechariah, under the name of the former, only as the 
more distinguished. But the well grounded reply has been made, 
that then the passages of Jeremiah, a reference to which they 
assume, must actually refer to the event related by Matthew. They 
were not able to answer this objection, partly because they did not 
see in what relation the passage of Zechariah stood to those cited 
from Jeremiah, partly because they did not observe what deep 
meaning Matthew sought, in the fact that the potter's field was pur- 
chased with the price of blood, which, of all the interpreters, Grotius 
alone perceived, (" Cum autem hoc dictum Jeremim per Sack, rcpeti- 
tmn hie recitat Mat., simul osteridit tacite, eas posnas imminere Ju- 
dceis, quas iidem prophetce ulint sui temporis hominibus prcBdixerant.") 
This objection is entirely removed by what has already been re- 
marked. We have shown that the prophecy of Zechariah, as to its 
principal parts, is only a resumption of that of Jeremiah ; that he an- 
nounces a second fulfilment of it, which stands in a connexion with 
it by no means accidental, but necessary, because it rests on the 
idea of the divine penal justice, which must call forth a new fulfil- 
r^ent of the prophecy as soon as it shall have been again provoked. 

Matthew might indeed have cited both prophets. But such pro- 
lixity in citation is entirely contrary to the custom of the authors of 
the New Testament, which may be explained by a twofold reason. 
They presuppose their readers to possess an accurate knowledge of 
Scripture, and the human instrument was kept far behind the divine 
author, the Spirit of God and of Christ, who spake in all the propji- 
ets in the same manner. Very frequently, therefore, and indeed 
almost always, the human author is not mentioned at all ; they con- 
tent themselves with the forms of citation : r; ygacpT] Isyet, xa&ag 
f'ari ysy^n^filrov, yiynnnxai yut), y.n>9(oc liyti x6 nvBV^n to oiyior, xn&o)c 

190 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

z~mtv o &Edg. k. t. X. Not un frequently two or three passages of 
different authors are combined in one, and yet only a single author 
is mentioned. The closest analogy with that before us is presented 
by Mark 1 : 2, 3 : 'Slg yiygamai iv'Hadioi tw ngocp^jTi]' "idov, syoj 
anoaTsXla xov uyysXov fiov ngo nQoawnov aov, o<,' xctxaaa^vdasi, xriv 
o86v aov. (fwv)) ^oavtog x. t. A. Here, under the name of Isaiah, 
two prophecies of Malachi and Isaiah, are cited, of which moreover 
the former precedes. Isaiah was the more celebrated prophet ; it 
was so usual to consider ihe minor prophets combined in one col- 
lection as a whole, that an individual of them is very rarely men- 
tioned by name ; comp. e. g. Matt. 21 : 5, with Isaiah 62 : 11, and 
Zech. 9: 9, Matt. 21 : 13, with Isaiah 56: 7, Jer. 7: 11, Rom. 
9 : 27, 1 Pet. 2 : 6 sq. 

Had Matthew designed to awaken attention merely to the fulfil- 
ment of the prophecy of Zechariah, he would have contented him- 
self with a general form of citation. This appears from the analogy 
of all other citations out of this prophet, in none of which is he men- 
tioned by name. So, John 19 : 37, the passage, chap. 12 : 10, is 
cited merely with the words, zal ndliv stequ ygacprj Xiyu. John 
12 : 14, the passage, chap. 9 : 9, by xa^^w? ion yeygafifisvov. Matt. 
26 : 31, the passage, chap. 13 : 7, with the words yEyganjcct, yag, 
(comp. Mark 14 : 27.) Matt. 21 : 45, the passage, chap. 9:9, by 
TO grj&h' dia xov Ttgofprjxov, where the article shows, that Matthew 
presupposed Zechariah to be well known to all his readers. While, 
however, the mention of Zechariah might appear to him as unneces- 
sary, it was otherwise with Jeremiah. The fact, that this proph- 
ecy was realized in the event before him, and how far it was so, was 
not so obvious as to render superfluous a hint requiring further in- 
vestigation. And yet, without this insight, the sense of the prophecy 
of Zechariah must remain in the highest degree obscure, and its 
fulfilment in essential points misapprehended. 

The result which we have gained is not unimportant. It appears 
that the apostle precisely in the passage, which the new critics 
cite as a certain proof of the proposition, that the authors of the 
New Testament were not free from error, manifests a deeper insight 
into the sense of the Old Testament prophecy, than all these critics 
taken together, no one of whom has perceived, that we can just as 
little interpret the passage of Zechariah, without the aid of Jere- 
miah, as we can, without that of Daniel, determine what the. Lord 
intended by the ^biXvy^m xijg igi^fiwasoig. Indeed, the assumption of 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 191 

an error is the most convenient for those who abhor labor ; and at the 
same time affords an advantage not to be despised against the literal 
interpreter ; but such proceedings cannot for ever hide the truth, as 
certainly as it is not the will of the Lord, that one iota of his word 
should fail. Would that men, if they cannot immediately find out a 
probable solution, would imitate the modesty of Frischmuth, who, 
in his treatise De XXX. Argenteis in the Thesanr. Theol. Phil. I. 
p. 1041, after a citation of a passage of the Jewish grammarian Epho- 
daeus, says : " Onmibus modis eo laborandiim est, ut h'regularitatis 
demus rationem. Ubi vero earn dare nequimus, satis est nos novisse 
hoc Jieri propter defectum nostrum, minime vero, quod in libris divi- 
nis anomalia queedam sit. Id vero ut dicamus, absit." Although 
fully sensible of the inadequacy of his own explanation, he proceeds : 
" Quam modestiam si ct nos Christiani imitari velimus, difficultatem 
declinare facile fuerit dicendo, si vel maxime haud ita constet, quo- 
modo Jeremias legatur, idea tamen necdum sequi, scripturam corrup- 
tam esse, vel Evangelistatn esse lapsum. Sic satius fuerit aliquam 
ignorantiam profiteri nostram, quam temere aliquam falsationem 

It now remains to show, that the citation of Matthew perfectly 
coincides with this passage in sense, if not in words. We must 
here in the first place endeavour to settle the meaning of the words, 
Kal Ela^ov ra iqicihovtu u^yvQiu, Ti}v Ti^n]v lov zixifirj^srov, ov hi^r^- 
aavio tino viav "lagar]}.. We translate, " they received the price 
of him who was valued, for which they had valued him, on the 
part of the sons of Israel." We do not supply before ano rwv v. "l. 
the pronoun jivig, which Fritzsche properly rejects, without how- 
ever being justified in his extremely forced interpretation. We 
rather apply here the Hebrew and Arimeean usage, according to 
which the indefinite third person, which then supplies the place of 
the passive, is designated by the third person of the plural ; comp. 
the examples in Ges. Lchrg. p. 798. Instances out of the New 
Testament are such passages as Luke 12: 20: tijj' ii)vxriv aov anai- 
Tomnv ano aov, "they demand," for, "one demands," and this then 
for " it is demanded." The expression ano vlah ' Tagarjl, " on the 
part of the sons of Israel," (comp. Winer p. 31S, James 1 ■. 13, lino 
S^sov nHfjci^ofiai, " I am tempted of God,") corresponds to Dn'Si^p in 
Zechariah. The noun is used by Matthew instead of the pronoun, 
in order to awaken attention to the meanness of the valuation. This 
was done, not indeed by heathen, but by the covenant people them- 

192 ZECHARIAH Chai-. It. 

selves, who had received such numberless proofs of the love and 
mercy of the Lord. The apparent deviation, that in Matthew the 
receiving of the pieces of silver and the casting of them into the field 
of the potter are attributed to the leaders of the Jews, in Zechariah 
on the contrary, to the shepherd, Matthew removes by subjoining at 
the close the words, yia&a. ovvhaU f-ioi xvQiog, corresponding to "^PX"! 
'Sn nin: in Zechariah. By these words he indicates, that he re- 
gards the leaders of the people, not as acting independently, but 
only as instruments, by which the Lord accomplishes his purposes, 
so that nothing is wanting to make the coincidence complete. 

V. 14. " Then I broke my second staff, the Allied, to abolish the 
brotherhood between Judah and Israel.'' Corap. v. 7. We have 
already had occasion often to remark, that in the representation of 
future things the images are borrowed from the past. Thus, e. g. 
chap. 10: 11, the future deliverance is described as a passage 
through the Red Sea ; so likewise as a deliverance from the yoke of 
the Assyrians and Egyptians, who had long been deprived of their 
power at the time of Zechariah. In such cases, the usual blending 
of image and reality properly lies at the foundation. Instead of say- 
ing, e. g. " I will deliver Israel as gloriously as before, when I led 
them through the Red Sea; " the prophet says directly, " The Lord 
will lead them anew through the Red Sea." Such passages would not 
have been so grossly misunderstood, if more regard had been paid to 
the analogy of poetry in general, and particularly that of Christian 
hymns. When e. g. the singer says, " Only briskly come in, it will 
not be so deep, the Red Sea will already give place to thee," who 
can really suppose, that he is on the point of passing the Red Sea? 
or when it is said, " Egypt, good night," that he has prepared him- 
self for a journey from Egypt to Canaan 1 Thus also is it here. 
The most melancholy dissension of the past was that between Judah 
and Israel, which caused the separation of the two kingdoms, and, 
continuing afterwards, consumed the energies, which fitted the peo- 
ple to withstand their heathen foes. The prophet now wishes to 
say, that, after the Lord shall have forsaken the people, the most 
destructive internal discord will arise among them, even as destruc- 
tive as the former contention between Judah and Israel. This he 
expresses by saying directly, " The Lord will abolish the brotherhood 
between Judah and Israel," altogether the same as his previous 
declaration, "They will eat the flesh one of another." The fulfil- 
ment took place, as has been already remarked, at the time of the 


ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 193 

Roman invasion, when the Jews were destroyed by the rage of 
parties against each other. This is so plain, that it forced itself even 
upon Abarbanel : " Quia tempore excidii latrones aucti sunt, et cum 
amove etiam fraternitas est imminuta in tribu Judah, et insuper inter 
hos et Jilios Israelis, sacerdotes et Levitas, qui apud ipsos erant, 
idcirco hie ait, ad irritum faciendum fraternitatem inter Judam et 

V. 15. " Then said the Lord to me, take to thee again the vessels 
of a foolish shepherd.^' Calvin : " Hie docct propheta, ubi deus 
ahjecerit curam populi, fore aliquam vanam speciem regiminis, sed 
ex qua facile colligi possit, deum non agere amplius officium pastoris. 
— Jam se abdicaverat deus munere pastoris, sed postea prcsfecit et 
lupos et fures et latrones pastorum loco, cum scil. vellet exeqiii hor- 
ribile suum judicium contra Judmos." Hi;^, again i. q. " while thou 
proceedest to symbolize the fortunes of the people." It is obvious, 
that by the foolish shepherd must be understood not an individual, 
but the whole body of the wicked rulers, who, after the rejection of 
the good shepherd, destroyed the people. We are not, however, to 
refer it to foreign, but domestic leaders. For only against the latter 
could the divine punishment be threatened, as is done v. 17, because 
they were at the same time instruments of the punishment and par- 
takers of it, as well as of the horrible apostasy ; and indeed of this 
they were the chief authors, while the former, according to v. 5, 
were not guilty. That there, in like manner, the domestic rulers 
under the name of the shepherds, are contrasted with the foreign, 
the buyers and sellers, we have already seen. The truth was per- 
ceived by Abend an a in the Spicileg. to the Miclal Jophi of Sal. Ben 
Melech, only that his interpretation is too limited : " Per pasfores 
nihili, intelliguntur principes latronum^ Jochanan, Simeon, et Elie- 
zer." The designation of the shepherd, as foolish, instead of un- 
godly, points out how the leaders of the people, blinded by the 
divine penal justice, will not perceive that they destroy themselves 
when they rage against the people. This view of ungodliness, the 
foolishness connected with it, is often exhibited, comp. e. g. Jer. 
4: 22, "For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they 
are sottish children, and theyhave no understanding; they are wise 
to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge." — By the im- 
plement of the foolish shepherd, more accurately determined by the 
antithesis with what precedes, may be understood simply the shep- 
herd's staff, or, at the same time also, his other implements. We may 

VOL. II. 25 

194 ZECHARIAH Chap. 11. 

suppose that the implement of the shepherd consisted of a strong 
staff, armed with iron, wherewith he wounded the sheep, while the 
goo-d shepherd kept them in order with the soft blows of a thin staff; 
we can at the same time imagine a perforated shepherd's-pouch, 
which contained nothing which was useful to the sheep and the 
shepherd, &c. In any event, the opinion of Bochart {Hieroz. I. 
455) is to be rejected, that the bad shepherd was not distinguished 
from the good by any thing external, but only by his actions. 

V. 16. " For behold, I raise up a shepherd in the land, he will 
not visit that which is perishing, not seek that which has wandered, 
not heal that which is wounded, not nourish the feeble, and the jlesh 
of the fat ones he toill eat, and divide their hoofs." Here also the 
prophet has several passages of Ezekiel and Jeremiah in view. 
Comp. Ezek. 34 : 3, 4, " The diseased have ye not strengthened, 
neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound 
up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that 
which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was 
lost." Jer. 23 : 1, 2, " Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and 
scatter the sheep of my pasture ! saith the Lord. Therefore, thus 
saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people ; 
Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not 
visited them." The reference to these passages is not merely ex- 
ternal, as in general we must regard the dependence of Zechariah 
on the older prophets, on account of the great power and originality 
of his genius, as chiefly voluntary. By a righteous divine judgment, 
the people had been punished before the exile by bad rulers; Jere- 
miah and Ezekiel had promised them deliverance from these; and 
this had actually happened after the exile, particularly at the lime 
of Zechariah, when Zerubbabel and Joshua guided the people in a 
truly paternal mannef. Zechariah however announces, that in 
future the same cause would produce the same effect, and indeed 
in a higher degree. — O at the beginning is explained by the cir- 
cumstance, that the reason why a symbolical action was performed, 
is the same which the action signified. The particulars of the 
verse are admirably illustrated by Bochart, Hieroz. I. p. 445. iJ^iH, 
not with the Hebrew interpreters and Calvin, (" Oves longo usu 
sese continent, ita ut non aberrent ab aliis, sed agni magis lascivi- 
unt, et facile hue et illuc disperguntur,") " tlie young," — 1J.'J never 
occurs of animals, — but " the dispersed." In the sense to shake, 
the verb occurs, Neh. 5 : 13; in the Talmud it occurs especially of 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 13. 196 

the wandering flocks of sheep, comp. Buxtorf, s. v. In the Arabic 
5XAJI, according to Gigg. : De viro, instabilis, sedem miitans. — 
^3^y. x'7 n^i'jn, after Michaelis, Rosenmiiller explains by, " Qui 
restitant prcc lassltudine et morho, non poi'tahii." But the verb 
S^dSj never means to carry, but always to sustain and nourish. 
Others, '* That which stands upright and firm, he will not nourish." 
Vulg. : " Id quod stat non cnutritt." Bochart : " Stans opponiiur 
jaccnti et ex morbo decumbenti. Nam ut covfractis et cBgris medcla 
opus est, sic cibo et alimentis stantibus et valentibus, quo bona ilia 
habitudo conservetur." It is better, however, as appears from the 
parallel passages of Ezekiel, to combine the two interpretations ; 
" That which continues to stand, and that which, from hunger and 
feebleness,- cannot move from its place, (to this sense we are led by 
Niphal, which designates suffering,) he will not provide for, to 
strengthen it by food and care." The expression, " he will divide 
their hoofs," does not indicate, as most interpreters suppose, the 
extreme cruelty, but the extreme greediness of the shepherd, which 
has indeed, for its attendant, cruelty against his sheep ; it is a climax 
of, ** he will eat," &c. He will even break the hoofs apart, that no 
fibre of the flesh should be lost. 

V. 17. " Wo to the umoorthj shepherd, who forsakes the jlock, a 
sword comes upon his arm, and upon his right eye ; his arm shall be 
altogether palsied, his right eye altogether blind." Calvin : " Hoc 
versu docet prophetay etiamsi deus mcrito tain gravem vindictam 
infiigat Judms, tamen pastores ipsos non impunc elapsuros, et hoc 
modo admonet, etiam in relms illis tarn confusis et perditis sibi tamen 
aliquam fore foederis sui memoriam." As the object of the punish- 
ment, the arm and the right eye are mentioned by way of individu- 
alization, as the two members of the body, which the good shepherd 
chiefly employs for the care and protection of his flock, but which 
the bad shepherd most shamefully abuses to its destruction. The 
arm the organ of strength, the right eye the organ of prudence. An 
apparent difficulty here arises, from the circumstance, that two pun- 
ishments, inconsistent with each other, are mentioned for each 
member ; first, for both, the sword ; then, for the arm, palsy, (Calvin : 
" Arescet braclmim, h. e. vigor ejus ita drfluet, ut sit quasi lignum 
putridum") ; for the eye, dimness. But on a closer examination this 
difficulty vanishes. The particular punishments serve here only to 
individualize the idea of punishment in general, and the prophet 
combines several, in order to exhibit the greatness of the punish- 

196 ZECHARIAH 12: 1—13:6. 

ment, and consequently the greatness also of the crime. He could 
do this the more readily since the shepherd is not an individual, but 
a collective body. To remove this difficulty, two interpretations 
equally untenable have been invented. Jahn takes the 2'^^} in the 
sense ariditas, appealing to Deuteronomy 28 : 22, where, however, 
this sense is in like manner arbitrarily assumed. Rosenmiiller after 
the Chaldee, and Jarchi, suppose, that the threatening of punish- 
ment commences with the words, " His arm will wither," and that 
the preceding belongs to the description of the crime : " Dicitur 
hrachium et oculus rnali pastoris gladio insfructus, quod aciem ocu- 
lorum malo animo et nocendi cupido intendit." Both suppositions 
however are refuted by the comparison of two parallel passages. 
The first, Jer. 50 :35-38, " A sword upon the Chaldeans, saith the 
Lord, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon their princes, 
and upon their wise men. A drought upon their waters, that they 
dry up." — The second, below, chap. 13 : 7, " Sword awake against 
my shepherd." Remarkable is the double i/od paragog. in the 
verse before us, exactly as in Jer. 22 : 23. It is frequent only in 
the most ancient writings, and in the latest from imitation ; in the 
intervening writers, only in rare examples, as Ps. 110 : 4, Is. 1 : 21 ; 
comp. Ewald, p. 376. Perhaps also the yod in ''Six, v. 15, can be 
taken as paragogia/m ; there would then be here a trace of a deci- 
dedly later usage, to append the yod, originally an outward desig- 
nation of the Stat, constr., in other cases also as a mere paragoge. 
Still we may take it with Gesenius {Thes. s. v.), as an adjective 
ending, though to this it is an objection, that 'Six as an adjective 
form of S''l^, as fool, and foolish, never occurs elsewhere, and that 
the twofold use of the yod parag. in the verse before us is in favor 
of assuming it there also. 

Chap, 12: 1. — 13: 6. 

The mournful prospect is here again followed by a joyful one. A 
totally different scene presents itself to our view. The people of the 
Lord in the conflict with all nations of the earth, feeble in themselves, 
but strong in the Lord, everywhere come off victorious, v. 1-9. 
The Lord has broken their hard heart, and given them grace to 

ZECHARIAH 12 . 1. — 13 : 6. 197 

repent, so that, with bitter distress, they regret the wickedness which 
they have committed against him, v. 10-14. In him they have 
now the forgiveness of their sins, chap. 13 : 1, and this produces an 
upright striving after sanctification, and the avoiding of all ungodli- 
ness, V. 2-6. 

The interpreters are divided in reference to the time of the fulfil- 
ment of this prophecy, as well as its subject. With respect to the 
former, several, at the head of whom is Grotius, suppose a reference 
to the times of the Maccabees. But this supposition is for several 
reasons altogether untenable. It is contradicted by the relation to 
the foregoing chapter. The reception of the people of God here 
described, stands in plain contrast with the rejection of them there ; 
and, if the latter belongs to the time after the appearing of Christ, 
the former cannot be placed in the time before his coming. This 
is also confirmed by the comparison of chap. 12 : 10. The peniten- 
tial and believing looking upon the crucified Messiah there predict- 
ed, leads us beyond the time of the Maccabees to that of the Mes- 
siah, with which also the characteristics given at chap. 13, the 
forgiveness of sins, and the general striving after holiness, taken by 
themselves, and compared with the parallel passages, can alone 
agree. Lastly, in the former prophecy, referring to the times of the 
Maccabees, one particular people, the Greeks, are mentioned as hos- 
tile to the covenant people, chap. 9 : 13 ; here, on the contrary, all 
the nations of the earth appear as their enemies ; a sure proof, that 
we must seek the fulfilment not in the past, which presents nothing 
of the sort, but in the future, and that the prophecy is analogous to 
those of earlier prophets, which, as Joel chap. 4, and Ezek. chap. 
3S, 39, (comp., as respects the latter, however, the introduction to 
chap. 14,) relate in like manner to the last great struggle against 
the kingdom of God, to the last great victory of the Lord over his 
enemies. Notwithstanding the untenableness of this view, it has 
still some foundation in truth. As in general the chief events under 
the Old Testament are typical of those under the New Testament, 
— of which we have one remarkable example in Zechariah himself, 
chap. 6 : 9 sq., where the Jews dwelling in Babylonia, cut off from 
the sanctuary, but still contributing to rebuild it, are represented as 
a type of the distant heathen nations, who, in the Messianic time, 
should promote the building up of the kingdom of God ; as also in 
the second part of Isaiah, where the return from the exile is so con- 
stantly regarded as a type of the future return of the heathen nations 

198 ZECHARIAH 12:1. — 13: 6. 

from the captivity of sin and error, that it is often difficult to decide 
what belongs to the type, and what to the antitype, — so also the 
splendid deliverance of the people of God from their oppressors, 
through the Maccabees, typified their future last and great deliver- 
ance. Consequently it was represented under images borrowed 
from the former, so that since we are not here aided by a compari- 
son of the fulfilment, it is difficult, and in part impossible to distin- 
guish what belongs to the figurative drapery, and what to the 

The other diversity relates to the subject of the prophecy. The 
view which considers the Christian church as such is very ancient. 
Jerome designates it as the general and peculiarly Christian, in 
opposition to the Jewish. " Alii Judccorum putant,jam hcBC ex parte 
comphta a Zorobabel usque ad Cn. Pompcjmn, qui primus Roma- 
norum Judccam cepit et templum, quam historiam scrihit Josephus. 
Alii vero, quando Hierusalem fuerit instaurata in fine mundi esse 
complenda, quod sibi cum 't]Uifii.iivM suo, quern supra stultum pasto- 
rem legimus, miserabilis gens Judaa promittit. — Alii autem, h. e. 
nos, qui Christi censemur nomine, in ccclesia usque ad finem mundi 
quotidie cxpleri et ezplenda memoramus," So also Cyril, Mark, and 
many others. But that this interpretation, in the sense in which it 
is for the most part delivered, is inadmissible, needs no detailed 
proof drawn from the contents of the prophecy. Only the interpre- 
ters of the prophets, not the prophets themselves, know any thing of 
a spiritual Israel, in contradiction to a natural. This view can 
obtain our concurrence only when so modified, that the covenant 
people here signify that portion of Israel, who received the mani- 
fested Messiah with faith, and in whose bosom the heathen nations 
were embraced, instead of independently, and on equal grounds, 
uniting with them in one church. The confficting view will then 
be, that the subject of the prophecy is not in general the Church of 
the New Covenant, whose original stock consisted of the first-fruits 
of Israel, but the church of the New Testament in the last ages, 
when the whole people of the Old Testament, freed by the divine 
mercy from the judgment of obduracy inflicted upon them, will 
again be received into the kingdom of God, and form its central 
point. This last view, adopted among others by Vitringa, Observv. 
s. 1. II. c. 9, p. 172, Michaelis, Dathe, and others, has so much in 
its favor, that its rejection can hardly be explained, except from an 
aversion to the opinion of a future restoration of the whole people 

ZECH ARI AH ] 2 . 1 . — 13 : ti. 199 

ol' Israel to their ancient gracious relation to the Lord. In appear- 
ance, there is indeed much against this; but we must .not therefore 
be led to set aside, by a forced interpretation, the plain declarations 
of Scripture, which teach it, not merely of the Old Testament, but 
also of the New Testament, not merely of the apostles, particularly 
of Paul in the Epistle to the Romans, but also of the Lord himself, 
(comp. Matt. 23 : 39 : ultyio yug v/ilv ' ov /j.ij (jls i'dijTE utiuqti, i'cog av 
nn7jT£ • Evloyi]nivoq o tg^of^i^os ^f ovof^urt j(vqiov.) The principle 
proof is found in chap. 12: 10 sq. According to this passage, those 
who now experience the powerful help of the Lord are the same 
who have formerly put him to death ; with the former national guilt, 
as it had been represented, chap. 11, and the consequent punish- 
ment, the national tnourning on account of it, is here contrasted 
wi'th the strongest expressions of its universality, which excludes 
every reference to those individual Israelites, who, immediately after 
the crucifixion of the Lord, smote upon their breasts. 

We must here still direct attention to the accurate agreement 
between the first and second part of Zechariah, which has been 
already intimated. Chap. 1-4, exactly corresponds with chap. 
9 and 10. Both represent the blessings, which should be conferred 
upon the believing part of the covenant people, until the manifesta- 
tion of the Messiah, chiefly however through that event. Chap. 5 
corresponds with chap. 11. Both represent the divine judgments, 
which should come upon the unbelieving and ungodly part of the 
covenant people, after their ungodliness had most signally manifest- 
ed itself in the rejection of the Messiah. Chap. 6 : 1-8, describes 
briefly what is more fully detailed in the prophecy before us, and in 
chap. 14, God's protection of Israel, and the punishment of their 
ungodly enemies, when they have again become the people of God. 
What a decisive ground for the genuineness of Zechariah this re- 
markable parallelism furnishes, is obvious. 

V. 1. " The burden of the tcord of the Lo?-d upon Israel. Saith 
the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, and establishes the earth, 
and forms the spirit of man within him." — The superscription of 
this prophecy has been violently misinterpreted. The usual inter- 
pretation is that of Cocceius : " Prolatio verbi JehovcB de Israele." 

200 ZECHARIAH 12: 1.-13:6. 

But the following reasons may be urged against this. 1. We have 
already seen (p. 77 sqq.), that XB'n never signifies declaration, but 
always burden, and occurs only in the superscription of prophecies 
announcing adversity, and in indeed in such a manner, that the 
proper name standing therewith in the stat. const., or connected with 
it by the prepositions 3 or S;^, designates the object of the threaten- 
ing prophecy, or of the judgments threatened. It is therefore en- 
tirely arbitrary, when NK'n is taken here, in this single passage, in the 
sense prophecy, and also when h])_ is taken in the sense de, especial- 
ly as it immediately occurs, v. 2, twice as a designation of a bur- 
densome calamity. 2. Israel cannot here be a designation of the 
covenant people. For in the whole prophecy which follows, it is 
plain, that this designation is diligently avoided. The discourse, 
throughout, is only of Jerusalem and Judah. This plainly indicates, 
not the identity of Israel and the covenant people, but a difference 
between them. Another explanation, that of Mark, " a burden of the 
word of the Lord, in or for Israel," and, as it appears, that of Riickert 
also, who translates, " burden of the word of the Lord in Israel," 
removes, of the abovementioned difficulties, only that which con- 
cerns the import of the word NE^n, while it is liable to others at least 
equally great, inasmuch as, the meaning burden being assumed, the 
separation of "^i^ from N*"fn is extremely forced, and the explanation, 
" a prophecy of the Lord in Israel which burdens his enemies," is 
certainly in the highest degree unnatural. It only remains, there- 
fore, especially when we compare the entirely analogous superscrip- 
tion, chap. 9:1, as well as the almost verbally similar one, Mai. 
3:1, to adopt the supposition, that Israel is here the object of the 
threatening prophecy. Hence it follows, that Israel cannot be a 
designation of the covenant people ; since for them the prophecy 
is not of a threatening, but consoling character. Of all the inter- 
preters only Ribera, as far as we know, perceived the truth : " Israel 
signijicare puto Judceas {?), inimicos ecclesice, et ceteros ejus perseeu- 
tores." The enemies of the kingdom of God are certainly those 
whose overthrow is predicted in the prophecy itself, they must there- 
fore be those also whose overthrow is predicted in the superscrip- 
tion. The ground of this designation, which at first sight appears 
strange, was twofold. 1. The etymology of the name. This was 
very significant in reference to the object of Zechariah. Israel 
signifies God's wrestler, he who has wrestled, or still does wrestle 
with God, comp. Gen. 32 : 29, Hos. 12 : 4, where, in allusion to 

ZECHARIAH 12: 1.-13:6. 201 

the two names Jacob and Israel, it is said, ijin:?=i rnx-Jiitj 3pji; jeill 
mnSx"n.?< "n-yi;. 2. The relation of the kingdom of Judah to the 
kingdom of Israel was a type of the future relation of the kingdom 
of God to its enemies. The kingdom of Israel, by the worship of 
images and idols, had been guilty of an apostasy from God, which 
deserved to be punished, and was constantly endeavouring, partly 
alone, partly in alliance with the heathenish Syrians, to overthrow 
Judah, the tribe which the Lord had chosen, and where he had 
built his sanctuary, (comp. Ps. 78: 10, 11, 67, 68.) Their later 
exile was the righteous punishment of this hostility against God and 
his kingdom, comp. 2 Kings 17, Is. 7 : 7, 8:6, 9:7 sq. That the 
prophet in the choice of the name Israel h^d in view, besides the 
etymology, this allusion also, appears from his employing Judah and 
Jerusalem throughout the prophecy, as a designation of the covenant 
people, while elsewhere he frequently mentions Judah and Israel or 
Ephraim after one another. — The predicates attached to the name 
of God, as is very frequently the case in the older prophets, particu- 
larly in the second part of Isaiah, serve to suppress the doubt of the 
fulfilment of the promise arising from present appearances, by point- 
ing to the omnipotence of its author. Theodoret : Ovx tyw, qirjolv. 
6 iTQOcpi)ir]c;, tavTU ngog Vfiug dii^sQ/Ofiai, «AA' o jovds tov navio; 
noiTjTVii Si^jniovgyog, o tn vvv iv xaig vi]dvai t« acjfiara dianXaTzav, 
Kcd ipv^as avv avxolq dtj/iiiovgysia&ui xeXevav, ovzog St," ffiov cp&fyytxai. 
Still better Calvin : " Ubi de re creditu difficili ogitur, nisi occurrat 
7iobis immensa dei putentia,friget, quidquid nobis promittitur. Deus 
ergo, ut jidem suis promissionibus acqiiirat, oculos nostras in ccelum 
attollit, ct jubet hoc mirabile opijicium diligenter aspicere ; deinde 
convertit nos ad terram, ubi etiam incBslimabilis ejus virtus apparel. 
Tertio revocat nos ad considerationem propritB naturce." What is 
here indirectly, is directly, chap. 8 : 6, expressed in the words : " If 
it shall be wonderful in the eyes of the remnant of this people in 
those days, will it therefore also be wonderful in my eyes? saith the 
Lord Almighty." This introductory declaration should have been 
more carefully considered by those interpreters, who have mistaken 
the true explanation, because their eye was fixed on the visible ap- 
pearance. The participles ntpj and ID^ are not, as several inter- 
preters suppose, to be referred exclusively to the past. In opposi- 
tion to the cheerless view, according to which the works of God, 
after they have been once created, stand related to him as a house 
to its builder, their preservation is in a certain respect always re- 
voL. n. 26 

202 ZECPIARIAH 12 : 1 . — 13 : 6. 

garded in Scripture as a continued creation. God daily stretches 
out the heavens anew, daily lays the foundation of the earth, which, 
if not restrained by his power, would wander from its course and 
be tihattered in pieces. The last predicate also refers not merely to 
the original creation of the human soul, but at the same time to the 
continual creating and sustaining influence which God exerts upon it. 
The formation of the spirit of man is here rendered especially prom- 
inent among the many works of the Divine Omnipotence, because 
this is the ground of the absolute and constant influence exerted 
upon it by him who turns the hearts of kings as the waterbrooks. 
How should not the Creator of the spirits of all men, the God of the 
spirits of all flesh, as he is called in the same respect in Numbers 
16: 22, 27: 16, be able to strike all the horsemen of the enemy 
with madness, as it is said, v. 4, or to fill the leaders of his people 
according to v. 6, with sacred courage ! In a manner precisely simi- 
lar is the omnipotence of God, Ps. 33 : 15, founded on his being the 
Former of the hearts of all men. The same three predicates, Is. 
42 : 5, are joined with one another. More remote is the reference 
which Calvin gives to the last predicate: " Scntimtis nos vivere; 
corpus per se carebit omni motu et vigorc, nisi intus animetur : ani- 
ma, qvm corpus vcgctat, invisibilis est. Qiium ergo cjperientia 
nobis demonstret, virtuttm del, qucB tamen nan est ocvlis conspicua, 
cvr nan exspectobimus, qua: promittit, ctiomsi cventus nobis in- 
credibilis videtur, et omnes sensiis 7iostros excedit 1 " I3"?p.3 is 
well explained by him thus : " Quum dicit in medio ejus, intelli- 
git spiritiim habitare intus : quia scimns corpus nostrum esse instep- 

V. 2. " Behold ! I make Jerusalem for a threshold of shaking to 
all nations round about, and also upon Judah will it be, in the siege 
against Jerusalem." According to the usual explanation the first 
half of this verse is understood as predicting prosperity for Jerusa- 
lem, and translated, " Behold, I make Jerusalem a basin or cup of 
intoxication for all the nations round about." The sense, according 
to this explanation is best unfolded by Tarnov : " Ego earn disposi- 
turns sum, ut pelvem soporiferam, seu vas ingens, ad quod cum omnes 
popnli sunt rabido conatu accessuri, et sitim cxtincturi furenter ac- 
currunt, suo mala degustent, siqnidem potio in ilia est soporifera, 
qua hausta gignetur animi tunta perturbatio, ut homilies se ipsos et 
sua perdant, in perniciem suam, velut cbrii mente capti, rticntes 
prcBcipites." The oldest authority for this translation is the Chal- 

ZECHARIAH 12 : 1. — 13 . 6 203 

dee, which translates, " Poculum, quod plenum est vino inehrinnie." 
It has been attempted to establish it by appealing to several alleged 
parallel passages, where, in like manner, the subject of discourse is 
« cup of intoxication, r}'l];'\ryr\ do, Is. 51 : 17 -22, or toine of intoxi- 
cation, n'^jrinn J"., Ps. 60 : 5; though these and all similar passages 
are not entirely analogous to the one before us, according to the 
abovementioned interpretation. Everywhere else the Divine judg- 
ment is the cup of intoxication, which is extended to the nations; 
here it is Jerusalem. This interpretation is liable to the following 
objections. I. That ']0 has the meaning cup, is incapable of proof, 
and indeed improbable, since it does not harmonize with its usual 
import, threshold. This supposition has been grounded especially on 
Exodus 12 : 22 ; but Gousset, Lex. s. v. has clearly shown, that -"ID 
there means not basin, but threshold. The remaining passages, 
2 Sam. 17 : 23, I Kings 7 : 50, 2 Kings 12 : 14, and Jer. 52 : 19, 
merely show, in general, that there were certain vessels, which bore 
the figurative names of the thresholds, niDD, niiJO, or D'3:?. But 
neither does this name itself (which surely presupposes some sort of 
resemblance to a threshold) imply a cup, nor its connexion in both 
the passages of Kings, with knives, in Jeremiah with tongs ; while 
the contrary is rather implied by its separation from the basins and 
bowls in like manner there mentioned. 2. That nSjrin imports 
intoxication does not justify us in attributing to S>n the same mean- 
ing. The sense concussion, according to the import of the verb in 
Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac, is more obvious. 3. The chief argu- 
ment, however, is furnished by the second half of the verse. If this 
cannot be understood othe;\vise than as threatening, without the 
greatest caprice, so must the first necessarily be, according to this 
interpretation, not consoling, but threatening, and the more so since 
the threatening against Judah is connected with the foregoing 
declaration concerning Jerusalem by DJi. The whole first verse 
must be employed, as in chap. 14, with the description of the dis- 
tress of the covenant people, and that of the deliverance must be 
subjoined. We follow therefore without hesitation the translation of 
the Seventy, who render ~in~'"]D by u? ngo&vioce aahvo^ira, and re- 
gard as certainly correct, what Theodoret remarks in explanation of 
the words : EvaXmxov, (pr,ai, xal ivnaxaybiviaTOv naai xolg t&viai arco' 
xariJfaTJjtfw r^vds rr/V nohv, xal iomvlav Sula nqo&VQoig acclsvofiiioig, 
x«i Kaxaq>iQHj&uL ^ilXovaiv, oiaxs xovg noXsf^iovg xijg {fiijg ngovoiug ytyv 
uyaf^svrjv OQciirxag iTtsX&tlv j<«t TtoXcoQxrjaai accl r« qpvo^Evcf ttxfvii^n' ijia- 

204 ZECHARIAH 12 . 1. — 13 . 6. 

yaysi-v xuku. There lies at the foundation the comparison of Jeru- 
salem with a building, which totters throughout as soon as its thresh- 
old is shaken. Thus in Is. 6 : 4, the bases of the thresholds tremble; 
in Amos 9:1, the entire shaking of the Theocracy is signified by the 
shaking of the thresholds of the temple. — In the designation of en- 
emies there is a climax,— -here all the nations round about, v. 3, first 
all nations, afterwards all the nations of the earth. The strongest 
designation is reserved until the divine aid has been announced. In 
the contrast with this, it was no longer terrible to the covenant peo- 
ple and the divine omnipotence was thereby rendered the more 
manifest. — The second part has ever been a crux iiiterpretum, 
plainly because the false interpretation of the first has prevented 
them from arriving at the truth here. According to one of the most 
prevalent interpretations the sense is, " Judah also, compelled by en- 
emies, shall take part in the siege of Jerusalem." Thus the Chaldee : 
" Atque etiain illos domus Judce, adducent popidi per manum violcn- 
torum in ohsidionem adversus Hierusalem." Jerome : " Sed et 
Judas, obsessa Hierusalem, est captus a gcntibus, et, in illarum 
transiens societatem, cogetur obsidere metropoUn suam." Grotius : 
" Rem miram dicit, fore ut etiam ex Judaeis sint, qui se in Hieros. 
hostiliter gerant, quod factum iiunquam antea fucrat." The only 
two plausible philological defences of these interpretations (those 
which, with Dathe, regard Sj7 as superfluous, are not taken into con- 
sideration) are that of Michaelis, whom Rosenmiiller follows : " Std 
et sujJcr Judam erit (Ji. e. etiam Judce, incumbet, s. etiam Juda tcnebi- 
tur vel cogetur esse) in obsidione," &/C. ; and that of Kimchi and oth- 
ers : " Sed et super Judam erit {^calix vertiginis), cum cogetur venire 
in obsidionem contra Hierusalem." But it is an objection common to 
both, that there is not the slightest trace in what follows, of a parti- 
cipation of Judah in the siege of Jerusalem, and that Judah rather 
appears as the ally of Jerusalem, even as he by whose victory, gain- 
ed through the help of the Lord, the city should be delivered. The 
defenders of these interpretations are obliged in the sequel to invent 
a multitude of historical circumstances of which not the smallest 
trace, but even the opposite, is contained in the text. Nor is any 
thing eflfected by appealing to chap. 14 : 14, as a conflict of Judah 
against Jerusalem is there mentioned, only according to a false 
interpretation, but, even if this were n&t so, the prophecy must fur- 
nish its own explanation. This objection lies with the more force 
against the explanation of Kimchi, since, according to him, Judah 

ZECHARIAH 12: ].— 13:G. 205 

should experience a severe divine punishment on account, of his 
forced participation in the siege, while nevertheless, in what follows, 
nothing but prosperity is announced to him. Against the interpre- 
tation of Michaelis, there is the special objection, that his under- 
standing of S;*, though not of itself to be absolutely rejected, (comp. 
Ezek. 45: 17, Ps. 56 : 13,) is yet here refuted by the manifest par- 
allelism of Judah and Jerusalem, which docs not admit that hp 
should be understood differently in the two members. The expla- 
nation of Kimchi rests on an unfounded interpretation of "^jn "^D. 
The correct one is : " Also upon Judah will it come in the siege of 
Jerusalem." The sense has already been perceived by Luther, " It 
will concern Judah also when Jerusalem is besieged." Burk : 
" Non agitur tantian de urbe regia expvgnanda, sed de iota gaite 
Judaica exstirpanda." Grammar does not require us to supply with 
Schmid and Tarnov at n;.r!^ " each one of them." The subject lies 
rather indirectly in what precedes, that Jerusalem would be to the 
enemies a threshold of concussion, and in what follows, that they 
would besiege it. From this the idea of adversity, of a hostile siege, 
may be readily derived, and the more so since the sentence is con- 
nected with the foregoing by DJ.V — The antithesis of Judah and 
Jerusalem seems here to be that between the lower and the more re- 
spectable portion of the covenant people, just as v. 8, in Jerusalem 
itself a similar antithesis is presented by the house of David and the 
other inhabitants. The type of this relation was furnished by that 
of Jerusalem, the civil and religious capital to the rest of Judah, 
which looked up to it with wonder, (comp. e. g. Ps. 122,) in the past 
and present. The strictly literal understanding of this antithesis, 
which is also found in the first part, chap. I : 12, 2 : 16, is particu- 
larly unsupported in Zechariah on account of his uniformly figura- 
tive and typical character. The antithesis here serves only to pre- 
pare the way for the following annunciation, that the Lord, in order 
that the aeliverance might more clearly appear as his work, would 
interpose first for the most feeble and helpless portion of the cove- 
nant people. 

V. 3. " And it shall come to pass the same day, that I will make 
Jerusalem a. burdensome stone for all the nations ; all who lift it up 
shall bruise and cut themselves ; and there shall be gathered together 
against her all the nations of the earth." (Riickert.) With this verse 
the prediction of prosperity begins, with which the additional ex- 
pression, " it shall come to pass in this dav," perfectly coincides. 

206 ZECHARIAH 12: 1.-13:6. 

The sense is aptly developed by Jerome : " Potiam Hierusalem cunc- 
tis gentihiis quasi gravlssimum lapidem sublevnndum ; levabunt qui- 
dem earn, d pro inrium varietate vastahunt " (not altogether correct, 
since Jerusalem in this whole prophecy appears indeed as sorely 
pressed, but not as captured, comp. particularly v. 5, which is dif- 
ferent from chap. 14, where the help is delayed until after the cap- 
ture), " Sid necesse est, nt, dam kvatur, in ipso nixu et elevatione 
ponderis gravissimus lapis scissuram aliquam vel I'asurmn in levan- 
tium corporibus derelinquat.'^ The image of a heavy stone, which 
inflicts dislocations and bruises upon those, who, overrating their 
strength, raise it up, (" damnum non sentiens ipse magnum damnum 
iis ajfert," Mark,) is in itself so plain, that there is no occasion to 
assume, with most interpreters, a direct reference to a gymnastic 
exercise practised in Palestine in the time of Jerome, according to 
his account, which has already been too often copied. — In the 
words, and they assemble, &c., the prophet describes once more in 
the strongest language the danger, in order that in contrast with it 
the deliverance might appear the more wonderful, and at the same 
time that the believers might not be discouraged. Calvin : " Ampli- 
ficationem in sc continet hoc membrum, ut Jideles jJerstarent invicta 
constantia ad bene sperandum, quamins hostium multitudine viderent 
se obrui." 

V. 4. " In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite all horses with 
fright, and their riders with madness ; and upon the house of Judah 
loill I open mine eyes, and all horses of the nations tcill I smite with 
blindness." Calvin: " Intelligit propheta, quidquid robustumfutrit, 
tamen facile posse vinci divinitus. — Scimus robur militare esse in 
eguis et equitibus : cquos autem dicit fore attonitos : equites vera 
ipsos quasi correptos insania, ut scil. se ipsos quasi confidant, neque 
possint nocere ecclesiee. Confirmat igitur, quod nuper dixit, quamvis 
totus mundus conspiret contra eccle.siam, tamen satis virtutis esse in 
Deo, ut omnes impetus vel procul repellat, vel conterat. Et idea 
stuporcm, amentiam, ccccitatem ponit, ut discant fdelcs deum occidtis 
modis posse hostes suos vel perdere vel profligare. Quamvis ergo 
deus non pugnet ezertis gladiis, neque utatur communi bellandi more, 
dicit tamen propheta, instructum esse aliis, mediis ut hostes suos pros- 
ternat." The horsemen as the flower of the hostile army are men- 
tioned also, chap. 10 : 5. What the smiting of the horsemen with 
madness imports, is exemplified 2 Kings 6 : 18, where the Lord, in 
answer to the prayer of Elisha, so blinds his enemies, that, instead 

ZECHARIAH 12 ; 1. — 13 : 6. 207 

of seizing him, they rush upon their own destruction. The open- 
ing of the eyes, a designation of the divine care ; God appeared to 
have closed his eyes as long as he gave up his people to affliction. 
The opening of the eyes of God on the house of Judah stands in 
contrast with the smiting of the enemies' horses with blindness, and 
is the more appropriate, since he upon whom God opens his eyes 
now sees clearly himself, while before he groped in darkness, comp. 
Is. 59 : 10. The house of Judah (not bare Judah, as in the preced- 
ing and following context, where Judah stands in the antithesis with 
Jerusalem,) seems here to comprehend the whole covenant people. 
The house of Judah is elsewhere frequently called the kingdom of 
Judah, in contrast with the house or kingdom of Israel ; and that the 
prophet here also has this antithesis in view is evident from the fore- 
going typical designation of the enemies by Israel. 

V. 5. " And the princts of Judah say in their hearts : Strong for 
me are the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the Lord, the Almighty, their 
God." Remarkable here, as in chap. 9:7, is the use of the noun 
^"i4n, of princes and leaders of the covenant people. This word 
occurs besides only as a designation of the Idumean princes of 
tribes, comp. Gen. 36 : 15 sq., Exod. 15: 15, 1 Chron. 1 : 51 sqq. 
Several lexicographers cite indeed in favor of the more general 
meaning, besides the above passages, that of Jeremiah 13: 21 ; but 
Schultens, Animadvv. Phil, on Jer. 13:21, has so clearly proved 
that f|i9N here has not the meaning prince, but, as elsewhere 
also in Jeremiah (3 : 4), that of friend, that nothing farther need be 
said.* This entirely peculiar use of f^lbx in Zechariah is not unim- 
portant. 1. It refutes the hypothesis of those, who assume that 
chap. 9 is the work of a different author from that before us. 2. It 
furnishes a testimony for the composition of the second part in the 
period after the exile, and therefore for its genuineness. Such an 
idiom, — much the same as if we should generally use Margrave for 
Prince, — can be explained only from his learning the language out 
of the more ancient writings, which, as we have already seen, Zech- 
ariah constantly imitates. — ^''^'0^ is to be understood as a noun, 
since no other interpretation can be grammatically justified, or give 

* " Et tu docuisti eos amicos esse contra te, in caput. Amarulentissimus 
est sarcasmus. ' Tu Babylonios tibi amicos esse docuisti, scil. tJ'KnS ut in 
caput tibi sint, tibique imperent.' Hoc cum praecedenti interrogatione, ' Quid 
dices,' mire convenit, quo ostenditur, aliud expectasse a Babyloniis Judaeos. 
quam ut se opprimerent." 

208 ZECHARIAH la : 1 — 13 : 6. 

an appropriate sense. The passage before us receives light from 
V. 6, 7. It is there made prominent, that God would first deliver 
the feeblest portion of the covenant people most exposed to hostile 
assaults, designated by the inhabitants of the province in contrast 
with those of the capital, and give them the most splendid victory 
over the common enemy, in order that the former splendor of Jeru- 
salem might not receive by the new advantage such an accession, 
that Judah would be thereby entirely eclipsed. This annunciation 
now in the verse before us is prepared for, by its being declared 
how little Judah stood in expectation of such prosperity and honor, 
and how in quiet lowliness and modesty he expected his prosperity 
only from the capital, which was peculiarly favored of God and 
standing under his special protection. His own confession of low- 
liness makes his subsequent glorification more manifestly a work of 
God, who gives grace to the humble. There is therefore no ground, 
with Tarnov and Michaelis, (" Fortitudo est mihi et hahitatoribus 
Hieros. non in nobis, sed in Jehovah,'^) arbitrarily to assume an 
asyndeton. Still less, however, with Gesenius, {Thes. s. v. n^px,) 
after the example of Dathe, is a change of the text to be hazarded : 
" Tu meo periculo (indeed) repone cum duobus codd. "'3K'''S, et 
verte : Presidium est kabitatoribus Hieros. apud Jehovam. Chal- 
dcBus: Inventa est salits kabitatoribus." This proposed emendation 
is destitute of all external authority. The Chaldee paraphrast can- 
not be cited in its favor, because it is obvious, that, not understand- 
ing the construction, he is only endeavouring to conjecttire the sense, 
and translates altogether loosely. All other ancient translators have 
the 'S. Of two manuscripts which are said not to have it, — in the 
mass of Codd. of no importance, — one is moreover uncertain, 
comp. De Rossi on the passage. But, what is of chief importance, 
the supposed emendation gives no suitable sense. That Jerusalem 
should afford protection to the whole land, not that it should find 
deliverance for itself alone, must have been earnestly desired by 
the princes of Judah. — "'S for uS is explained by the fact, that the 
princes of Judah speak in the name of the whole people, just as 
chap. 7 : 3. The ambassadors of the covenant people ask, " Shall 
I weep as I have done? 3 designates the Lord as the ground and 
the source of the strength. The Jehovah of Hosts, xvgiog 6 navzo- 
x^aTWQ, points to the omnipotence of God, " their God," to his will 
to help, grounded on his covenant relation to his people. 

V. 6. " In that day will I make the princes of Judah as a fire 

ZECHARIAH 12 : 1 — 13 : 6. 2(^ 

from under loood, and as a torch of fire under sheaves ; and they 
shall devour, on the right hand and on the left, alt the nations round 
about, and Jerusalem continues to sit on her throne at Jerusalem." 
How far this verse is to be understood figuratively and how far liter- 
ally, must first be learnt from the fulfilment, v/hich it would be rash- 
ness to attempt to anticipate. Considering the constant practice of 
Zechariah to employ what belongs to the Old Testament, as an im- 
age and type of the New Testament, the figurative interpretation 
cannot be rejected beforehand. The substance would then be only, 
" the victory of the covenant people over their enemies " ; the special 
designations belong only to the type in itself considered. Still a 
remark of Vitringa on Apoc. 19 : 19, where exactly the same repre- 
sentation occurs, so that this cannot be regarded in any event as 
peculiar to the Old Testament, and belonging to its inferior charac- 
ter, deserves all regard : " Deus non pugnat cum hostibus suis cor- 
porali modo ; nee Christus etiam sua: ecclesice rex. Quando tamen 
sua curat providentia, ut ecclesia nanciscatur vindices sues causce, 
per quos ipse hostes suos dejicit et prosfernit : turn vero ipse, spiritu- 
al! quidem modo pugnans, vincit etiam corporaliter : suntqiie effecta 
victories Christi ejusmodi in casu per orbem manifesta." The con- 
solation afforded the church by this promise, however it may be 
understood in reference to the outward circumstances, is developed 
by Calvin : " Travsferfur ad ecclcsiam opus ipsius dei, quemadmo- 
dum aliis in locis, Tenenda est hcBc prophetcB doctrina, quamvis 
hostes nostri turmatim in nos ruant, tamen fore lignorum congeriem 
et nos fore similes fornaci : quia ctiamsi in nobis nullcB sint vires, 
domimis tamen occulta sua gratia efficiet, ut solo accessu sese consu- 
mant hostes nostri." — The last member is erroneously interpreted 
by most commentators : " Jerusalem dwells still in her place at 
Jerusalem." It is a mistake to suppose, that nnn ever means place, 
comp. p. 57. The phrase, " under herself," shows, that 2i[>l is to 
be taken in the sense to sit. Jerusalem is here, as usual, personi- 
fied as a matron. She continues to sit on the throne, (the verb ::^"l, 
in like manner, of sitting on the throne, chap. 6: 13,) from which 
her enemies thought to cast her down. Explanatory in every re- 
spect is the passage. Is. 47 : 1, where the opposite is said of Baby- 
lon : " Descend and sit in the dust, thou virgin daughter, Babylon ; 
sit on the earth without a throne, thou daughter of the Chaldeans." 
The phrase, " under herself," is here i. q. on that, which she had 
hitherto had under herself, on her throne. This passage of Isaiah 
VOL. II. 27 

2 1 ZECHARIAH 12.1.-13:6. 

at the same time, throws light on a number of other passagBvS, in 
which the entirely unsupported meaning, to be inhabited, is attribut- 
ed to the verb 3K/; by lexicographers (comp. e. g. Winer, s. v.) and 
commentators (e. g. Gesenius on Is. 13 : 20). In all these passages 
a personification of the cities lies at the foundation ; as long as they 
remain unconquered, they appear as proud princesses sitting on their 
throne. So e. g. Is. 13: 20, ini in n;? \)2ti^ nSi m)h 2vjr\ i^h, 
" She will never more sit and never again dwell." The error of the 
translation by " she will not be inhabited," is the more obvious here 
as well as Jer. 50 : 39, since we are then compelled to understand 
the verb |l)tf/ in an intransitive sense, which never occurs. This 
difference of explanation has in many passages an important bearing 
on the sense. A land or a city cannot sit {lie doicn), without there- 
by becoming entirely uninhabited, as e. g. we cannot infer from 
" Askalon will not sit," chap. 9:5, an entire depopulation of the 
city, but only its deep decline, in exact parallelism with the preced- 
ing member, " Gaza loses its king." 

V. 7. " And the Lord ivill help the tents of Judahjirst : in order 
that the splendor of the house of David, and the splendor of the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem, may not exalt itself above Judah." The 
tents of Judah here stand in plain antithesis with the capital. A 
similar antithesis occurs wherever the tents of Judah or Israel are 
mentioned, comp. e. g. 2 Sam. 20 : 1, " A wicked man said : we 
have no part in David ; every one to his tents, O Israel ; " v. 22, 
" And they dispersed themselves from the city, each one to his 
tent," 1 Kings 8 : 66, " Solomon dismissed the people and they 
went to their tents." Judges 20 : 8, " And the whole people rose 
up as one man, saying : We will not go each one to his tent." The 
use of the term tents for houses, in these passages, is occasioned by 
the effort to lessen that which was dispersed and scattered, in con- 
trast with that which was concentrated ; just as among us every one, 
who inhabits a respectable house can say, " I retire from the capital 
into my hut ; " and we need not, with J. D. Michaelis and Winer, 
find a relic of the old nomadic times. In this passage, however, 
the designation seems to have a special subordinate reference to the 
helplessness of Judah, and thus to make more emphatic the ex- 
pression, " And the Lord helps." Calvin : " JPer taberriacula meo 
judicio intelligit propheta tuguria, qna: non possunt tucri suos hos- 
piles vel inquilinos. — Est hie tacita comparatio inter tuguria ct 
urbps mnnitas." Parallel is Ezek. 38 : 11, " And thou shalt say, I 

ZECHARIAH 12: 1.-13:6. 211 

will go up to the land of unw ailed villages ; I will go to them that 
are at rest,'that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and 
having neither bars nor gates." The expression, " in order not," (Si-c, 
refers to Jirst, and not to the divine help, which should be granted 
to Jerusalem, as well as to Judah, and indeed through the latter. 
There is a good reason why r>^>^3n is not repeated before Judah. 
Burk : " Simplex Judce nieniio ostendit, non Jiabuisse alias Judam 
aliquid decoris, quo se potuissct effa-re." nTJSi^sn, not gloriatio, but 
decus, mnjestas. The discourse is here only of the possession of ad- 
vantages, which, however, might easily be abused, by the corruption 
of human nature, to self-exaltation above others, and above God, and 
the too great accumulation of which must therefore be guarded 
against. It appears that the prophet here had in view such an 
abuse, as Jerusalem at an earlier period had made of its advantages 
over the country. The strong shall be delivered by the weak, in 
order that the true equilibrium may be restored between both, in 
order, as Jerome remarks, that it may be manifest : " Domini esse 
in utrisque victoriam." 

V. 8. " Iti that day the Lord will defend the inhabilants of Jeru- 
salem ; and he that stumhleth among them in that day, shall he as 
David, and the house of David like God, as the angel of the Lord 
before them." The article in ht2-iT\ must not be overlooked, as it has 
been by Riickert. It divides the inhabitants of Jerusalem into two 
parts, the weak and the strong. The latter are afterwards desig- 
nated by the house of David. The former shall attain to the degree 
which the strongest among the latter, their ancestor the brave hero 
and king, David, once occupied ; the latter shall rise to an elevation 
unknown to the former Theocracy. The prophet thus by way of 
individualization expresses the thought, that at that time the Lord 
will exalt his people to a glory not imagined in the former Theocra- 
cy. Similar, Is. 60 : 22, " The few will become thousands, and 
the feeble a strong people." ^^^h properly a stumbler, then in gen- 
eral one who is weak, 1 Sam. 2 : 4. Calvin : " Quasi diceret : 
Erunt omties instructi heroica ct rcgia virtute non modo homines ple- 
bejd, sed etiam, qui videntur similes esse fosminis, et qui nihil virile 
pr(B se ferunt, illi tamcn excellent heroica virtute Davidis." — 
criSxs is by most interpreters (Calvin, Michaelis, Mark, Burk, Ro- 
senmiiller) translated, as an angel. But this import the word never 
has, as we have already shown. Vol. I. p. 92. But the reason given 
for this interpretation well deserves to be considered, viz. that 

212 ZECHAKIAH12: 1 — 13:G. 

Otherwise the progress to the following, " as the angel of the Lord," 
will not, as we should naturally expect, be a climax. The difficulty 
however may be removed by the following remark. D'riSx expresses, 
(as even the plural form, the usual designation of the abstract, 
(comp. Ewald, p. 326,) shows,) the abstract conception of Deity. 
When it is not rendered concrete by the article, it often stands 
where merely what is superhuman, or more than earthly, is desig- 
nated, (comp. Ewald, Die Composition der Genesis, p. 26 fF.) Es- 
pecially remarkable in this respect is Ps. 8:5, " Thou hast made 
man a little lower than D'HSw^n, God" (|n according to usage, can 
indicate only the thing in which the deficiency is). Here those 
who understand by CnSx " the one true God," are in as great an er- 
ror as those, who, merely from the difficulty of escaping from this 
unpleasant sense, give, as here, the sense angel to CnSx, which, 
however, does not suit, for the simple reason, that the angels have 
no dominion over nature, while nevertheless the subject of discourse 
is solely that dignity, which man possesses as a vicegerent of God. 
Hence those expose themselves to ridicule, who would deduce from 
this Psalm a proof of the moral dignity of man since the fall. We 
find the true interpretation in Calvin : " Verba Davidis perinde 
valere interpretor, ac si dixisset, parum abesse homines a divino et 
ccelesti statu." " Thou hast exalted him almost to a divinity." 
This, when applied to the passage before us, where D'HSn stands in 
like manner without the article, shows at once that there is actually 
a progress from the lesser to the greater. " The house of David will 
be as something more than earthly," is not so strong as, " it will be 
as the angel of the Lord." We must not with some translate, " as aii 
angel," or "an angel of the Lord," (Rijckert, comp. Vol. I. p. 174,) 
but " the angel of the Lord," his revealer, to whom Zechariah con- 
stantly attributes his names and works, (comp. p. 83.) In these last 
words D.p'.;?'? is understood in different ways. After the Syriac, 
several (Michaelis, Burk, Rosenmiiller) : " Who was before them." 
Eichhorn : " As (once) Jehovah's angel in the front of Israel." But 
we see not the use of this forced interpretation, since in the other, 
" The house of David will be as the angel of the Lord before them," 
there is no difficulty. According to this also, there is an allusion 
to the march through the wilderness, where the angel of the Lord 
went before Israel, (comp. Vol. I. p. 167.) Parallel as to the expres- 
sion is Mic. 2:13, " Their king marches before them, DD^n lii^ii 
DH'jgS, and the Lord in their front," The :? does not here denote 

ZECHARIAH 12:1.— 13: 6. 213 

equality, but resemblance, just as 2 Sam. 14 : 17. " For as the angel 
of the Lord, so is my Lord the King, to hear the good and the 
evil." V. 20, " My Lord is wise, as the wisdom of the angel of the 
Lord, to know all that is on earth." Equality, there, is surely not 
intended. — Erroneously Calvin : " Jubet Jideles attendere ad domum 
Davidis, qucs nunc proisus spoliatu erat omnl dignitate, nt nulla 
esset juvandi facuUas. Nihil enim tune potuit cerni in posteris 
Davidis nisi probrosum, vel saltern contcmptibile. Et tamen propheta 
jubet ipsos sperare salutem ex ilia domo." The house of David 
forms here, as the antithesis in the verse, and also the comparison 
of V. 12, show, only a type for the noblest of the covenant people, 
and their future leaders; just as the prophet designates the future 
enemies of the covenant people by Egypt and Ashur ; their future 
deliverance, as a passage through the Red Sea ; the land of their 
future exile, by Shinar. 

V. 9. " It will be in that day, that I loill seek to destroy all na- 
tions, who come against Jerusalem." — Several interpreters translate 
T'DB'n'? typgx, / tvill seek out, in order to destroy. But the strik- 
ingly coincident parallel passage, chap. 6:7, " The strong strove to 
go through the whole earth, and the Lord said ; Do it," shows, that 
here also the verb tJ'D? with b must be understood of a striving 
after something. Calvin : " Intelligit deum intentum/ore, quemad- 
modum solent ho7nines solUciti et qui serio aliquid procurant : — sum- 
7110 studio ero attentus." 

V. 10. " Jlnd I pour out upon the house of David, and upon the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of gracious suppli- 
cation, and they look on me whom they have pierced, and they la- 
ment for him as the lamentations for an only son, and mourn for him 
as the mourning for the first-born." — On 'nagK/i Jerome remarks 
justly : " Verbum effusionis sensum largitatis ostendit." It is at 
first view remarkable, that here, as chap. 13: 1, only the house of 
David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem are mentioned, and not Ju- 
dah. This is explained by the frequent practice of the more ancient 
prophets of designating the Theocracy by its capital or central point, 
Jerusalem or Zion. The prophet could the more readily adopt this 
usage here, since the former contrast between Jerusalem and Judah 
no longer existed ; and in reference to the outpouring of the Spirit 
there was not, as in respect to the deliverance, a difference which 
could induce him, as there, to make a separation. In the first part 
also, Jerusalem only is mentioned several times, though the prophet 

214 ZECHARl AH 12: 1.-13:0. 

had in view the whole Theocracy. Thus e. g. chap. 3:2, " The 
Lord rebuke thee, who chooses Jerusalem ; " chap. 8 : 8, while in 
other passages, e. g. 1 : 12, the Theocracy is designated by Jerusa- 
lem and the cities of Judah. — The spirit of grace is the spirit 
which works grace ; brings grace with it ; comp. the entirely similar 
idiom, Is. 11: 1, "The spirit of wisdom, of power," &c. By |n 
grace is not to be understood as an attribute of God, but its opera- 
tion as a new principle of life in man. Very significant is the com- 
bination of grace and gracious supplication. By the very choice of 
the expressions derived from the same root, it is intimated that this 
supplication has its source in grace. Burk : " Sic vero Judcei toti 
sunabuntur ub opinione meriti et a consuetudine precularum." The 
verb D"'3n with hs< often stands, where a spiritual or a corporeal 
looking upon an object, with confidence in it, is intended, in like 
manner as &t(o§ii.r, e. g. John G: 40. Thus is it, Num. 21 : 9, in 
reference to the brazen serpent, by looking upon which the Israel- 
ites were healed. It stands here in silent antithesis with the con- 
tempt and disgust with which Israel had formerly turned away his 
face from the Messiah, comp. Is. 53 : 14. — Very remarkable is, 
"on me." The speaker, according to v. 1, is the Lord, the creator 
of heaven and earth. That we are not, however, to understand by 
him, the one invisible God exalted above all suffering, is shown by 
what follows, where this Jehovah represents himself as pierced by 
Israel, and now bewailed by him in bitter repentance. We are 
rather led thereby to the angel and revealer of the most High God, 
to whom the prophet, on account of his participation in the divine 
nature, attributes all, even the most exalted names of God, (comp. 
p. 24, who had also, according to chap. 11, undertaken the office 
of shepherd over the people, and been rewarded by them with the 
basest ingratitude. The suf. in rS>|^ is taken by several interpre- 
ters, who adhere to the Messianic interpretation, not for a person, 
but for a thing. So Gousset, Schultens, Animadvv. Phill. on the 
passage, and Dathe, " They lament for it," viz. for the crime of pierc- 
ing. But the grounds for this interpretation are not tenable. They 
appeal first to the interchange of persons "'Sx and rSj;. But such a 
transition from the first to the third person is so frequent, particu- 
larly with the prophets, that the citation of particular examples is 
unnecessary, (comp. Gesen. Lclirg. p. 742.) Here, however, a spe- 
cial reason existed in what precedes : " The same whom they have 
pierced ; " wherein there is properly already a transition to the third 

ZECHARIAH 12:1.— 13:6. 216 

person. They remark further : " Qnid jidehs illi Judai Ivgerenf 
T'^Z^'j de eo, 3Iessia scil. interfecto, quern tamen vivvni mm spe et 
Jidxicia dicimtur intueri 7 " The answer to this question, however, 
was in part given by Augustine, even before it was asked, De Civit. 
Dei, I. XX. Cap. 30 : " Sicut dixitmts Jtidceis, vos occidistis Chris- 
tum, quamvis hoc parcntes eoruvi fecerint, sic ct ipsi dolebunt se 
fecisse quodammodo, quod fecerunt illi, ex quorum stirpe dcscendvnt. 
Quamvis igitur, jam acccpto spiritu graticn ct misericardicE, jam 
jideles non damnabuntur cum impiis parenlibus suis, dolebunt tamen 
tanquam ipsi j'ecerint, quod illis factum est. Non igitur dolebunt 
reatu criminis, sed pietatis effectu.'" They lament for the murdered 
one, not as though he were still subject to death, but in painful con- 
sciousness, that he had been slain by their sins. That the Lord 
had turned to good what they intended for evil, cannot mitigate 
their distress. They behold in this only their own deed and its 
natural result. That their forefathers, and not they themselves, per- 
formed the deed, affords them no consolation. They are conscious 
that the guilt is national ; that by participating in the disposition of 
their fathers, which caused the crime, and by their bitter hatred 
against the Messiah, they have made themselves partakers in the 
guilt of this crime, and that it can be punished in them also, with 
the same right as, at the time of the invasion of the Chaldeans, the 
sins of former generations were punished in their forefathers, with 
whom they stood in the closest connexion through their crimes. 
That which is decisive against this interpretation is, partly, that hy> 
following the verb 13D signifies in general the object, and uniformly 
the person bewailed, comp. e. g. Jer. 34 : 5, 2 Sam. 11 : 26, 1 Kings 
10 : 30 ; partly, that, in the following context throughout, lamentation 
for persons only is spoken of, for an only son, for the first-born, for 
King Josiah-; and partly, that, v. 12- 14, the grievous lamentation of 
the whole people and of all individuals for one who is dead is plainly 
represented. — "inn, properly, " in making bitter" refers, as the use of 
the infin. i.tself shows, to the foregoing, " they lament," and we need 
not therefore, with most interpreters, from a comparison of Is. 22 : 4, 
035. 1?.nfr?, here supply loeeping, and the less so, since the suitable- 
ness of the reference to 13D is established by Jer. 6 : 26, nSDr? 
Dnnpn. The lamentation for an only son occurs also elsewhere as 
a designation of the deepest mourning; Amos 8:6, " And I make 
it as the mourning of the first-born." Jer. 6 : 26, "■ Daughter of my 
people put on sackcloth, cover thyself with ashes, make for thyself a 

216 ZECH ARIAH 12 : 1 . — 13 : 6. 

lamentation of the first-born." The mourning for the first-born was 
typified in Egypt, comp. Exod. 11:6, "And there was a great cry in 
the land, such as never had been and never will be." — The fulfil- 
ment of the prophecy of our verse was remarkably typified imme- 
diately after the crucifixion of Christ, and has been erroneously 
supposed by several interpreters to have then taken place ; comp. 
Luke 23 : 48, Kul ndvtEg ol avfiTiagccytvofiBvoi o/loi snl ttjv ^scogluv 
Tavrrjv, ■d-iiogotvTig tcc ysvoueva rvmovTsg kavtwv xa ari^xtn] (this the 
ground meaning of the verb n3D, that originally designates an es- 
pecial manifestation of mourning, comp. Is. 32 : 12, " They beat 
upon their breasts," Winer s. v.) vnsargecpov. The multitude who 
shortly before had cried out, " Crucify him," here, struck by the mani- 
festation of the superhuman dignity of Jesus, smite upon themselves, 
and lament for the dead, and their own crime ; and the probably 
transient emotion of those individuals served as a feeble type of the 
thorough repentance of the whole people. — We have still to notice 
the reference to this passage in the New Testament. The only 
proper citation is that of John 19 : 37, Kal ndXiv srsga yQucpi] Xfyti ' 
"OyjovTui, Eig ov i^sxevir^aav. In regard to the relation of this citation 
to the prophecy, we oflfer the following remarks. 1. The only de- 
viation from the words of the original is the change of the first per- 
son into the third. In Zechariah the Messiah himself speaks, John 
speaks of him, comp. Surenhus. ^ij5L y.a.r. p. 382. That the apostle, 
who here, leaving the Septuagint, translates immediately from the 
Hebrew, had before him another reading, is the more improbable, 
since in the citation. Matt. 27 : 9, from Zech. 11 : 13, we find ex- 
actly the same phenomenon, arising from the effort after greater 
clearness. 2. Although Vitringa {Obss. II. 9, p. 172), and Michae- 
lis have taken pains to evince the opposite, yet is it plain that the 
citation of John refers directly only to the piercing with the lance, 
and not to the whole crucifixion of Christ. He relates v. 31 - 33, 
how the bones of the Lord were not broken, as in the case of the 
others ; v. 34, how his side was pierced. He then, v. 26, adduces an 
Old Testament witness for the first, v. 27, for the second. But, 
allowing that John cites the prophecy only in reference to this par- 
ticular circumstance, it by no means follows that he extended it no 
farther, but only that he found it fulfilled in it, and indeed most 
justly, since the piercing with the spear, as well as the whole cruci- 
fixion, according to Acts 2 : 23, was a work of the Jews in respect 
to the spiritual, though not the material cause. That John is very 

ZECHARIAH 12: 1.-13:0. 217 

far from always limiting the prophecies to the object to which he 
immediately refers them, is very evident from chap. 18:9; comp. 
Vol. I. p. 250. But the prophecy would plainly lose in importance 
if the verb "ip^T. should be limited to the single fact of the piercing 
with the lance, as has been already shown among others by Lampe, 
in Jo. III. p. 634. Bas. It rather designates the whole suffering 
by which the death of the Messiah was effected. That this was the 
substance, and that the instrument and kind of death were unimpor- 
tant, appears from the comparison of chap. 13 : 7, where the sword 
is mentioned as the instrument, while "ipT. rather suggests the idea 
of a spear. — Besides this direct citation, there is also in two pas- 
sages, and plainly by design, an allusion to this place. Matt. 24 : 30 ; 
Kal TOTE xo^iovxai naaai al (fivXal triq yrjg, yal oipovTai rbv vlov xov 
uv&ganov fQxofisvov inl twv vscpsXav tov ovquvov. Apoc. 1:7; ^l8ov, 
tgXETai, (itxu zmv vscpskav, teal oifjsrai, avTov nag o(p&aX^bg, nal oixLVsg 
avTov i^s>cEVT7]aav. These passages are a kind of sacred parody of 
that in Zechariah. They show, that, with the wholesome repent- 
ance, the godly sorrow, of which Zechariah speaks, there is another 
repentance, the despair of Judas : with the voluntary looking to him 
who had been pierced, another involuntary, from which even the 
unbeliever cannot escape. The thrilling sublimity of this allusion 
every one must perceive. It shows, moreover, that the Lord himself 
and his apostles referred the passage to him. — Before we proceed 
to the history of the interpretation, we give the following beautiful 
remarks respecting it by Franc. Lambert, a Catholic theologian in 
the first half of the sixteenth century, (ad. h. I. p. 186.) " Sentiat 
quisque de hoc planctu, quod bonum illi videhitur, ego dice rem 
magni periculi esse, negare, quod de Isracle capiatur. Et quod ad 
me spectat, sentio Jirmissime, quod ex omnibus tribubiis Israel, reli- 
qui<B tandem ad Dominum Jesum Christum convertcntur, et agnos- 
cent eum. Videntes autem suam impietatein et coecitatem, in qua tot 
seculis fuerunt, videntes etiam bonitatem dei, qui tam magna illis 
facere dignatus est, dum carnem ex eis assumpsit, et quod se abne- 
gantcs non exterminarit , sed tandem in misericordiam susceperit, 
congregaritque eos in ecclesiam suam : turn confundentur super ini- 
quitatibus suis, et prcs dolore malorum, quce perpetrarunt, non cum 
desperatione, sed cum multajiducia bonitatis dei et Christi plangent. 
Fa turn implebitur hie sermo. Utcunqiie fuit planctus in Jerusalem 
Christo passo, sed eidem non convenit fictus ille per familias Israel 
hie positus." 

VOL. II. 28 

218 ZECHARIAH 12: 1-13:6. 

History of the Inttrpretatioji. 
1. Among the Jews. 

A valuable collection of materials is given by Frischmuth, Dissert. 
de Messia Confizo, reprinted in the Thes. TIicoI. Phil. I. p. 1042 sq. 
and Salemann, Jehovah Transfossus, ibid. p. 1054 sq. Even before 
the appearance of Christ, the Jews had occasion to mistake the true 
sense of the prophecy : it pointed, not merely to a suffering and dy- 
ing Messiah in general, as Is. 53, but to such a Messiah, who was 
moreover united with God by a mysterious unity of being, a mystery 
which could not be perfectly comprehended until after the manifes- 
tation of the Son of God in the flesh. After the coming of Christ the 
difficulty must have been increased ; they were not only, as in former 
times, deprived of the light of the fulfilment, but also driven to ex- 
tremities by the Christian controversy, which rested on this passage. 
How little an unprejudiced interpretation can be expected from 
them under these circumstances, is shown by the naive confession 
of Abarbanel, that the chief object of his explanation was to remove 
the stumblingblock, which the Christian interpretation had thrown 
in the way of his people. The history of this interpretation among 
the Jews therefore is little more than a statement of the principal 
wa;ys, which they have pursued in perverting th€ prophecy. Their 
contradictory explanations at once awaken suspicion of their cor- 

1. Some sought to remove the difficulty by a figurative under- 
standing of "ipT., to pierce, i. q. to grieve. According to them the 
verse represents the repentance, which the Jews should experience 
at a future period, on account of their sin against the Lord. Fol- 
lowing this view the Seventy translate "ETii^liipovzai ngoq fih, uvSt 
wv KaTWQxr,ottVTo. After Jerome, many here suppose the Seventy 
have interchanged ^ilD^T. with ^"'P'^, and, indeed, there are not want- 
ing examples of a similar metathesis, comp. Hottinger, Thes. Philol. 
p. 361. Others suppose, after Lud. Cappellus and Frischmuth, that 
they read npn in their manuscripts, which is by no means prob- 
able ; for this reading has otherwise nothing in its favor. Others, 
with Cocceius and Buxtorf, suppose them, in their embarrassment, 
to have substituted by conjecture npn for npn. That Vossius 
{Dc Translat. LXX. Interprctt. p. 20 and 77), from blind partiality 
for the Seventy, asserted that ur^ av yctToigx^oarxo was a later 

ZECH ARIAH 12 : J . - 13 : 0. 219 

corrupiioii, we would not mention, if Evvald [Commentar. in Apoc, 
p. 93,) had not recently expressed the same opinion. This cannot 
well be explained, except from the effort to set aside an argument, 
not entirely unimportant, for the genuineness of the Apocalypse, the 
remarkable coincidence in the citation of this passage, John 19 : 37, 
and Apoc. 1 : 7, which can by no means be set aside by appealing 
to the analogy of the coincidence of Aq., Symm., and Theodotion in 
the use of ixhsvteIp, since one of these used the others, and since 
their agreement is confined exclusively to (kxevtuv. How could this 
later corruption of the Septuagint arise? It must be supposed to 
have proceeded from Christians. For the Evangelist John and the 
author of the Apocalypse must both have drawn from the Seventy. 
But at a later period it would have been impossible for the Jews to 
have corrupted the text, since this passage attracted from the begin- 
ning the highest attention of Christians. Moreover, the Alexan- 
drian version is known to have been soon given up by the Jews. 
That the change was made by Christians is however just as im- 
possible. How could they have acted so directly in opposition to 
their own interests, how could they have brought the passage in the 
Seventy in contradiction with the citation in John ? A mistake of 
a single transcriber would immediately have been perceived, and 
could not have been handed down in all the manuscripts. The 
reading cannot have arisen from an interpolation of the other Greek 
translations, since no one of these has the present reading of the 
Seventy. — The correct view, viz. that the Seventy read indeed 
''^PtIj but, because they regarded the proper meaning of the verb as 
absurd, gave it a figurative import, to pierce = to insult, has been 
taken by only a few, among the ancients, Lampe,l. c, p. 633, among 
the moderns, Schleusner s. v. Katoqx-t comp. also Vogel zu Cap- 
pell. I. 140. The correctness of this view is rendered certain, if we 
only consider the example of a similar proceeding of the Seventy in 
the portion before us. Particularly remarkable is their translation 
of the. same verb "^p_T in chap. 13 : 3. The meaning to pierce, ap- 
peared to them there unsuitable, because they could not think that 
parents could be so cruel as to slay their son, perhaps also, because 
they supposed, like several later interpreters, that the discourse, 
V. 5, 6, relates to the same individual. It could not therefore be 
supposed that he was slain. They translate, therefore, Ipn in this 
place by avfmodl^Hv, " to bind together the feet," while they always 
render it elsewhere by anoxfyiiii', h.-Acvnlv, zaxay.iviuv, rnqManHv. 

220 ZECH ARIAH 12 : 1. — 1 3 : (3. 

Another example is found in chap. 12 : 8. It there appeared to 
them strange, that the house of David should be as God. They 
therefore translated cnbi^D by mg ohog Ssov, while Jonathan (" siait 
principes prosper ahuntur") sought to remove the difficulty in an- 
other way by giving to CnSx the sense magnates. — This alone may 
perhaps be conceded to the defenders of the other views, that the 
Seventy in choosing precisely the verb Kujogxiofiui to express the 
idea of the contempt and crime of which the Jews had been guilty, 
were induced by the recollection of the verb npjn, related perhaps in 
their opinion with the verb ip_n. — We have no hesitation in attrib- 
uting the same interpretatio-n to the Chaldee also, whose words, in 
many ways misunderstood, have been rightly interpreted, as far as 
we know, only by Lampe, 1. c. He translates n ^V "'Pip,.]'? \'^VT\ 
■iSiaStax. This is commonly explained, (comp. e. g. Lightfoot on 
John 19 : 37) : " Orabunt coram me, quoniam translati fuerunt." 
According to the opinion of the paraphrast, the Jews, with bitter lam- 
entations on account of their exile, shall turn to the Lord. But this 
interpretation has no foundation in the text. This difficulty, how- 
ever, is removed as soon as '7£ob£Di< is understood of wandering in a 
moral sense, a wandering in which a man loses sight of the Lord ; 
comp. S-1'Cp, vagatio, lusus ; ^7""^^, ambulator, otiosus spectator. Buxt., 
s. V. — We now inquire whether this interpretation, which, given up 
by the later Jews, who uniformly understand ^p_T, in a literal sense, 
found some defenders in the Christian church, is admissible. Great 
doubt must be awakened by the very fact, that the verb ipT. never 
occurs elsewhere in a figurative sense, but always in a literal, in 
which it is found even in this portion, chap, 13: 3. The figurative 
meaning however is entirely excluded by what follows. Were the 
verb "ip_n to be taken in a metaphorical sense, how then could lamen- 
tation over one who was dead, be there the subject of discourse ? 
How could it be compared with lamentation over the death of an 
only son, with that for King Josiah, who had been slain ? It re- 
mains, therefore, only to take the word in its usual sense, and to 
seek for the figure in the whole description. God, as it were, slain 
by the sins of the Jews ; the repentance which they experience for 
their sins, under the image of a lamentation for one who has been 
slain. But let any one search the whole Old Testament and see 
whether he can find elsewhere any thing analogous to this figurative 
representation, which is so strange and so militates against the honor 
of God.— It would be altogether unsuitable to appeal to the fact, 

ZECHARIAH 12: 1. — 13: 6. 221 

that the verb 3p3, perforare, to pierce, is also used of God. For it 
is by no means used in this original, but in a figurative sense, to 
reproach, (corap. Winer, s. v.) and, even in this sense, not connected 
immediately with Jehovah, but, for the sake of reverence, only with 
the name of God; conip. Levit. 24 : 11. Still less to the purpose is 
I»5p^, to roh, which is spoken of God, Mai. 3 : 8. God might be 
said to be robbed, in respect to His possessions as King of Israel, 
The killing, on the contrary, refers to the person. To these nega- 
tive grounds, which refute this interpretation, must be added the 
positive proofs, which justify the reference to the Messiah, viz. the 
manifest identity of the subject, who is here slain and lamented, 
with the good shepherd whose faithful services the people, according 
to chap. 11, reward with ingratitude, who, according to chap. 13: 7, 
is slain, and for whose sake the people are visited with severe judg- 
ments, until at last the remnant, ^purified by affliction, turn to the 
Lord, and are again graciously received. And finally, it is support- 
ed by the authority of the New Testament. 

2. Still there is one remarkable proof, that the correct interpreta- 
tion, that of the one true Messiah, was not unknown among the 
older Jews. In the Talmud of Jerusalem, fol. 12, 1, ed. Dessov. 
(comp. Vol. I. p. 211) that, and that only, is mentioned. '''There 
are two opinions, the one, that it is a lamentation on account of the 
Messiah; the other, that it is a lamentation on account of sinful cor- 
ruption." This has been frequently understood, as though the one 
had made sinful corruption the object of the whole prophecy in this 
verse. It would then be inconceivable how this strange opinion 
could arise. But it is not so. Both views coincide in their refer- 
ence to the Messiah. The difference consists, as is evident from 
a more accurate view of the words, and a comparison of the corre- 
sponding passage in the Babylonish Talmud, only in the different 
understanding of the suff. in vS;;. The one referred it to the per- 
son of him who was pierced, the other understood it of the thing, 
exactly as Schultens and Dathe ; on account of it, viz. their sin, 
which either directly, or, what is more probable, indirectly, has 
caused the death of the Messiah. So much is certain. But how 
these Rabbins explained the particulars in the passage, how they 
escaped from the difficulty, which they must have found in the ex- 
pression, " They look upon me whom they have pierced ; " whether 
with Symmachus in the Cod. Barberinus, according to De Rossi, 
who has himself carefully compared this Cod., they perhaps trans- 


222 ZECHARIAH 12 : 1.— 13 : 6. 

Jated 01'*' w i'ieyAvtriauv, " They look upon me, the Lord, loith him," 
whom they, either the Jews or the enemies, have pierced ; or, with 
several later Jews, " They look to me, they turn with weeping to 
me," because they, i. e. the enemies, have pierced ; we are unable to 
make out, because the difference, there mentioned, does not concern 
the sense of the whole passage, but only the object of the lamenta- 
tion. In any event, however, the passage is very important, because 
it shows, that the doctrine of a dying Messiah was not strange to the 
older Jews, and at the same time also, that in some way or other 
they connected his death with the sin of the people. — In process 
of time, however, this view was found inconvenient, and recourse 
was had to the figment of the twofold Messiah, the son of David and 
the son of Joseph, to the latter of whom were referred the passages 
which seem to treat of a dying Messiah, (comp. Vol. I. p. 210.) This 
was done, in reference to the passage before us, even in the Baby- 
lonish Talmud, (comp. Vol. I. p. 211), where the question whether 
the lamentation refers to the Messiah, or to sin, is renewed, and 
the former view is declared as unquestionably correct, with an ap- 
peal to the argument, that the lamentation must necessarily relate 
to the same subject, who, according to the preceding context, had 
been pierced. Among the later Rabbins, Abarbanel (on the pas- 
sage) follows this interpretation, who nevertheless elsewhere (re- 
markable indecision !) advances the one, here rejected by himself, of 
Kimchi and Jarchi, which will hereafter be cited. He says : " Multo 
rectior interpretatio ilia est, qua de Jlessia Jilio Josephi vaticinium 
accipitur, uti paires nostri h. m. interpretaii sunt. Is enim ex tribu 
Josephi oriundus, vir summis viribus et bello exlmius erit dux exerci- 
tus del in bello isto, quo vitam cum morte commutabit." Similar 
Abenezra : " Effundam spiritum gratice et precutn super habitatores 
Hierosolymitanos. Ante vero quam hoc fiat, horribili plaga affici- 
cntur, dum Messias fil. Josephi occidetur. Et tunc deus iratus omnes 
gcntes perdet, quce Hierosolymatn venerunt. Et hoc est, quod dici- 
tw : et respicient. Tunc respicient omnes gentes ad me, visurcB, 
quid illis facturus sim, qui Messiam filium Josephi occiderunt." 
Finally, this interpretation is found also in Jalkut Chasdasch, fol. 
24, in Glaesener De Gemino Jud. 3Iessia, p. 57 : "ipTty ""iriN ''D 
nm p n'^n irm T'h nd'' \d nfix t]Dv p rfK/o amm njv, " After 
Jonas shall have been pierced, i. e. the Messiah Ben Joseph, then 
will David come, i. e. the Messiah Ben David." It was now incum- 
bent on the defenders of this interpretation to solve the difficult prob- 


ZECHARIAH 12 : 1 . — 13 : G. 223 

lem, how it could be reconciled with, " They look upon me, the 
same whom they have pierced." In this endeavour they took dif- 
ferent and equally unsuccessful ways. a. They changed without 
hesitation the unpleasant "'Sx into vSx. And thus is the text with- 
out farther remark cited in the Talmud, and in En Israel, p. 117. 
Thus, according to a remarkable passage of Rabanus Blaurus contra 
JiidcBos, n. 12, (in Wagenseil, Sota, p. 68,) it was found even in his 
time (§ IX.) in the margin of many manuscripts : " Ubi nos juxta 
fidcm sci'lpturcB sanctcR in persona del legimus : Et adspicient ad me 
quern conjizerunt : illi, quamvis in ipso textu libri, divino nutu ter- 
rente, nan Juerint ausi mutare, tamen extrinsecus e latere annotatum 
habent : Adspicient ad eum, quern confixerunt. Et sic traditnt sids 
discipulis, ut, sicut in textu continetur, transscribant, et, sicut foris 
annotatum est, legant, ut tcneant videlicet, quod juxta eorum demen- 
tiam Judm aspiciant ad eum, quern confixerunt Gog et Magog." 
In the thirteenth century this reading had forced its way into the text 
of many manuscripts. Comp. Raim. Martini, p. 411. Lips. : " Nota, 
quod aliqui Judcei, hujusmodi tam evidens sacrm scriptures testimo- 
nium sufferre non valentes, literam in hoc loco falsificant, et dicunt 
rSx, ut sic non de deo, sed de alio possit intelligi; " comp. the same, 
p. 855, where he appeals, in reply, to the ancient manuscripts, the 
whole body of which have 'Sx. The reading rSx also actually oc- 
curs in 49 Codd. Kennic, and in 13 De Rossi, besides in the origi- 
nal text of several Rabbinical writings, while in their editions it is 
in part expunged ; comp. De Rossi, 1. c. That the reading, 'bx is 
correct, surely needs no extensive proof. It is grammatically the 
more difficult ; it is opposed to the favorite opinions of the Jews ; it 
is found in all the translations, whose testimony is here the more 
complete, since even those oi Aq., Syimn., Thcod. are preserved in a 
Scholion of the Cod. Barber. ; it is found in by far the most numer- 
ous and best manuscripts. — More difficult is the question, whether 
the reading vSx originated from doctrinal interest, and affords an 
example of a corruption of the text, attempted by the Jews, as Wa- 
genseil especially, 1. c, has endeavoured to show, while Hackspan 
(Oe Usu Librr. Rabbinic, p. 295), and De Rossi, assert the con- 
trary. We must decide in favor of the former. It is true, indeed, 
that examples are not wanting, in which the Keri, in passages where 
the construction is suddenly changed from the first person to the 
third, endeavours to restore grammatical correctness ; but, as yet, 
they did not venture to receive these proposed emendations into the 

224 ZECHARIAH 12 : 1. — 13 : 6. 

text ; here where the reading rSx first meets us in the Talmud, its 
connexion with the interest of the Jews is too obvious ; in like 
manner, as in the Jalkut, where, in order to be able to refer the 
passage to the Messiah Ben Joseph, Sx is read, " to him whom they 
have pierced," which deviation from the Talmud clearly shows how 
little they were induced by external reasons to depart from the re- 
ceived interpretation. Had the emendation been occasioned here 
by the grammatical anomaly, why did it occur to no one instead of 
vS;r to read 'S^' ? When De Rossi urges, against the supposition of 
an intended corruption, that no Jewish polemic refutes the Christian 
interpretation by appealing to the reading vSn, this fact might easily 
be turned against him. It furnishes a clear testimony to their evil 
conscience ; had they attained to the reading vSx in a lawful man- 
ner, they would not have failed to appeal to it. They use it, how- 
ever, cautiously, more for their own quiet than for controversy 
against their enemies ; and, as they saw that the object could not be 
accomplished, that the corruption could not possibly be introduced 
into all manuscripts, and that attention was awakened to the subject, 
they entirely relinquished this reading and resorted to less doubtful 
methods. 6. They gave to 1!^X ns* another meaning : " They look 
with weeping to me, because they, the heathen, had pierced him, 
the son of Joseph." This understanding of "i^x nx requires a clos- 
er examination, because it is repeated by recent interpreters. That 
1^>i> ^*? cannot mean precisely because needs no proof Still the as- 
sumed sense might in two respects be defended with some plausibility. 
First by the assumption of an accus. absol. : " They look to me, in 
reference to him whom they have pierced." But the alleged ac. ahs. 
is in Hebrew a pure invention of the empirical grammarians, as any 
one may easily convince himself by a view of the examples cited in 
its favor by Gesenius, Lehrg. p. 725, and Comm. zu Jcs. 53 : 8. Does 
not the ace, of the noun in such passages as Is. 8 : 13 ; " The Lord 
of Hosts, him shall ye sanctify," depend on the same transitive verb 
as the pronoun ? Among the cited passages, however, with the 
exception of Is. 53 : 8, the interpretation of which is plainly erro- 
neous, there is not one, where such a dependence cannot be shown, 
unlike the passage before us, or where the apparent accus. absol. is 
not one altogether usual, and explained from a confounding of two 
constructions as Zech. 8 : 17 : 'nxJK^ T^x; n-?«-b2)-n{)' ^^, a combi- 
nation of, " all this I hate," and " all this is that which I hate.'' — 
Another way of understanding it is, " And they look to him, that 

ZECHARIAH 12 . 1. — 13 : 6. 225 

they have pierced." It is true, that y0. nx sometimes thus occurs 
e. g. Ezek. 36 : 27 : " I will make, nSn '[3^3 "itJ/N-nN, that ye walk 
in my laws." But in this case, as also in all the passages where this 
construction occurs, (comp. 1 Sam. 2 : 22-24, 11: 19, Esth. 5 : 11,) 
a transitive verb must precede, nx is here, as always, a sign of the 
accus., and the accus. is governed by the transitive verb ; the whole 
proposition following r\'A is treated as a noun in the accus., see e. g. 
the cited passage of Ezekiel, i. q., " I will make your walking in 
my laws," comp. Ewald, p. 648. Accordingly, therefore, that is 
never the signification, but only in certain cases, with which the 
passage before us has nothing in common, the sense of li??X. nx. — 
It is scarcely worth the trouble to remark, against the already obso- 
lete explanation of the Messiah Ben Joseph in general, that it is 
a mere invention of the later Jews, which is shown, even by the re- 
mark of Kimchi against the reference of this passage to him, " Sed 
hoc intcrpretamf.ntum miror cur ita occultai'int, ncque (jus generalitcr 
memincrint," never to have obtained general approbation, and which 
the more intelligent, either like Maimonides by their silence, or like 
Manasseh Ben Israel expressly, reject. It is of more importance to 
give prominence to a remark, which concerns not this interpretation 
alone, but the whole of the kind to which it belongs. The looking 
upon him who was pierced, the loud lamentation over his death, is 
here represented, as a consequence of the spirit of grace poured out 
upon Israel, as a sign of his genuine conversion, the fruits of which 
are described in chap. 13: 1-6. But how can the lamentation 
over a leader, slain by enemies, be represented as a consequence of 
conversion 1 

3. Still wider do those err, who, as Kimchi, Jarchi, and Manas- 
seh Ben Israel, (in Hulsius, Theol. Jud. p. 513), by him who was 
pierced, understand every Israelite, who fell in the war against Gog 
and Magog : " Omnes lament abuntur ob unitis interitu?n, ac si inte- 
ger exercitus ccbsus esset." These also follow, partly the false read- 
ing vSx, and partly give to "i^X nx the untenable meaning because, 
as Kimchi explains it by in^3. They are also liable to the last 
objection urged against the foregoing explanation. Nor can they 
justify the unnatural supposition of a change of the subject in ^X^^^, 
and the omission of the stiff. This unfortunate explanation has been 
occasioned especially by the fear of yielding too much to the Chris- 
tians, by interpreting the passage of the Messiah Ben Joseph. 
There was the more reason for this fear, since they felt how danger- 

voi,. II. 29 

226 ZECHARIAH 12 : 1 — 13 : 6. 

ous it must be to attempt to prove the existence of the fictitious Mes- 
siah Ben Joseph, since, if they failed, the reference of the passage to 
Messiah Ben David, could not be avoided, so long as the Messianic 
interpretation in general prevailed. How strong this fear was, ap- 
pears from the circumstance, that, in a Polish edition of Jarchi, the 
passage where he designates the explanation of the Messiah Ben 
Joseph, as ancient and confirmed in the Talmud, is omitted ; comp. 
Sleph. le Moyne ad Jerem. 23 : 6, p. 134. 

2. By the Christians. 

In the Christian church, as could not but be expected, the refer- 
ence to Christ has always prevailed. It is therefore superfluous to 
cite the numerous names of its defenders, among whom even J. D. 
Michaelis on the passage belongs, although he ungrammatically ex- 
plains : " They will look upon me, and upon him, whom they have 
pierced." We shall occupy ourselves only with the exceptions from 
the rule, those who give up the Messianic interpretation ; and we 
can here be brief, since the refutation is already contained in what 

1. In the footsteps of the Seventy, and the Chaldee, though inde- 
pendent of them, follows in a measure Calvin on the passage, and 
on John 19 : 37 : " Metaplwrice liic accipitur confixio pro continua 
irritaiione , ac si dicer et : JudcBos sua pervicacia jfuisse quasi accinc- 
tos ad helium, ut deum pungerent ac coiifigerent sua malitia, vet telis 
rebellionis sucb. — Sensus — hie est : Quum Judcei secure multis mo- 
dis provocassent dcuni, aliquando pcBnitentiam cuturos, quia soil, 
incipient terreri clei judicio, quum prius nemo eorum cogitaret de 
reddenda vitce ratiojie." Still the essential difference between Cal- 
vin and the Jewish and Rationalist interpreters, who advance this 
explanation, is not to be overlooked. According to him, the proph- 
ecy is indeed in the first instance to be understood figuratively, and 
referred to God ; it happened however by a special divine guidance, 
that it was also literally fulfilled in Christ, united with God by unity 
of being, that his history constituted a visible symbol oi its contents. 
That he here had in view a much closer relation of the prophecy to 
the fulfilment in Christ, than the so-called mystical sense of Gro- 
tius, which properly, as Reuss, Opuscr. I. p. 74 ff., has already 

ZECHARIAH 12: I. — 13:0. 227 

shown, was a mere shadow without the substance, appears from the 
whole of the following explanation, in which his figurative under- 
standing of the passage seems entirely to disappear. The explana- 
tion of Calvin in former times met with general contradiction ; 
Lampe bitterly complains, that the private view of Calvin was attrib- 
uted to the reformed church, with a view to cast reproach upon it. 
Besides an anonymous writer in Martini, Dc Tribus Elohim, c. 112, 
and the Socinian Smalcius, it found a defender only in Grotius. 
From him it has been eagerly borrowed by recent interpreters, as 
Rosenmiiller, Eichhorn, Theiner. 

2. The interpretation of the Messiah Ben Joseph has been of late 
so far defended, as that several refer the prophecy to the death of a 
distinguished Jewish commander.,Einl. II. 2, p. 671, hit upon 
Judas Maccabeus and translates : " They will look on Jehovah on 
account of him, whom they have pierced," and thus bears testimony 
himself against his interpretation. A commander of the Jews, who 
lost his life in that war (who he was, is uncertain,) is conjectured by 
Bauer, Schol. ad h. I. He translates, following the interpretation of 
"IKJN nx as ace. absoL, which has already been shown to be inadmis- 
sible : " Respicient ad me, deum, opis implorandtJB causa, quod atti- 
net ad eum, quern transfixerunt." In favor of the same view Ber- 
tholdt also seems to decide, Einl. IV. p. 1716. 

3. The merit of finding out a new interpretation belongs, among 
the non-Jewish, and at the same time non-Messianic interpreters, 
only to Vogel. He asserts on Cappelli Crit. Sacr. I. p. 140, that 
the prophet speaks not of the Messiah, but of himself! 

V. 11. " At that time there shall be a great lamentation in Jeru- 
salem, like the lamentation of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megid- 
do." The prophet here exerts himself to the utmost in order to 
make the lamentation appear as great, and as general, as possible, 
and therefore to refute every reference of his prophecy to any event, 
which was only a prelude of its proper object. The lamentation 
of Hadadrimmon was here not a lamentation, which happened at 
Hadadrimmon, but which belonged to that place, so far as there 
was the object of it, as there the pious King Josiah was slain. That 
the lamentation over him, who was pierced, is compared particularly 

228 ZECHARIAH 12: 1—13:6. 

with that over the death of this king, appears from the following rea- 
sons. 1 . The lamentation, which the prophet here takes for the 
comparison, must have been one of the most distressing that had 
ever occurred. This was evidently that for Josiah. According to 
2 Chron. 35 : 25, Jeremiah composed an elegy on his death ; others 
were composed and sung by male and female singers. These be- 
came current in Israel as popular songs, and continued so until the 
time of the writer of the Chronicles. They were received into a 
collection of songs of lamentations concerning the mournful fate of 
the nation, which after the death of Josiah was rapidly hurried to 
its ruin. Herein we have the proof, as well of the greatness of the 
lamentation, as also of a continued lively remembrance of it in later 
times, until after the exile. 2. The subject of the lamentation must 
have been a pious king, and the comparison becomes the more suit- 
able, when he is one, who in a certain respect died for the sins of 
the people. Both of these were fully realized in Josiah. He was, 
according to 2 Kings 23 : 25, &c., of all the kings of Judah, the 
most pious ; but still God was not therefore moved to change the 
decree of destruction. He died, not so much a sacrifice to the 
improvidence, with which he engaged in a war with the more pow- 
erful king of Egypt, as a sacrifice to the sins of his people. Had 
these not called forth the vengeance of God, he would have pre- 
served him, either from this improvidence itself, or from the conse- 
quences of it. 3. The comparison requires the person slain" to be a 
king of Judah, and lamented at Jerusalem. " At Jerusalem " is plainly 
to be supplied also in the second member : " The lamentation will 
be great at Jerusalem, as there the lamentation oi Hadadrimmon was 
great," the gen. precisely as in d;:?XP ^^"■H., " the reproach from 
Egypt." Both these happened in the case of Josiah. Mortally wound- 
ed, the king was brought back to Jerusalem, where, immediately 
after his arrival, the last spark of life was extinguished, and now 
began the lamentation for him, the beloved one, with whom the 
Theocracy seemed to be borne to its grave ; comp, 2 Chron. 35 : 22. 
The apparent contradiction between this passage and that in the 
books of Kings, which makes Josiah die at Megiddo, is to be ex- 
plained merely from the effort at brevity in the latter, who, in har- 
mony with his design, is throughout less accurate, than the writer of 
Chronicles, in reference to external and unimportant circumstances. 
It was not a matter of moment to him, that the king still retained a 
feeble spark of life. He caused him to die at Megiddo, because 

ZECHARI AH 12 ; 1 — 13 : 6 229 

there he received his mortal wound. 4. The place accurately coin- 
cides. Verbally the same as here, it is said in Chronicles, Josiah 
was pierced through, nj?? nj'pDS. The difference is only that here 
the place is especially designated, in which Josiah received his mor- 
tal wound. Grotius : " Si cut ilia Darii ad Arbella, ah Arbellitide 
regionc^ et ad Gaugamela ex oppido aut vico propinqtio." That 
Hadadrimmon was situated in the valley of Megiddo or Jezreel is 
expressly testified by Jerome : " Hadadrimmon whs est jtixta Jez- 
reelem, hoc olim vocabnlo nuncupata, et hodie vocatur Maximianopolis 
in campo Mageddon, in quo Josias rex Justus a Pharaonc cognomento 
Necho vidneratus est." That it is not elsewhere mentioned in the 
Old Testament, and was entirely unknown to the Seventy, as their 
understanding of the word as an appellative shows, can be explain- 
ed either from the mere insignificance of the place, or with Wich- 
manshausen, De Planctu Hadadrimmon in the Thes. N. Theol. 
Phil. I. p. 1107 ff, from the fact that Hadadrimmon, decus grana- 
torum, was less the proper name of the place, than an honorable 
epithet. — Notwithstanding these plain reasons, there have not been 
wanting those, who have denied the reference to Josiah, or have 
connected still another therewith. The latter course is that of the 
Chaldee interpreter, who paraphrases : " Sicid planctus Ahab, filii 
Homri, qucm occidit Hadadrimvion, Jilius Tahrimmon, in Ramath 
Gilcad, et sicut planctus Josicb, Jilii Amon, quern occidit Pharao 
claudus in valle Mageddon." He understands Hadadrimmon as a 
proper name of the Syrian king, who slew Ahab, borrowed, accord- 
ing to the prevailing custom of the Syrians and Babylonians, from 
the name of an idol, Rimmon. The lamentation of Hadadrimmon, 
according to him, is that caused by Hadadrimmon. Should this 
reference in general be established, it must be the exclusive one ; 
for how a second can be reconciled with the words of the text, as 
soon as Hadadrimmon is understood as the proper name of an indi- 
vidual, is inconceivable. In fact it appears as though the Chaldee 
paraphrast has combined both references, only because he was un- 
certain which of the two to choose, and not because he regarded 
both as equally valid. That the exclusive reference to Ahab, how- 
ever, is untenable should need no proof Of all the characteristics 
above mentioned, one only belongs to him, that of dying in the 
valley of Megiddo. The discourse cannot be of a general and pain- 
ful lamentation over this ungodly king of apostate Israel. He was 
so generally hated, that no man would wash his unclean blood from 

230 ZECHARIAH 12 : 1. — 13 . 6. 

his cheeks, and for this, as a disgraceful task, it was necessary to hire 
vile persons. Omitting other still more absurd opinions, (comp. 
die Widerleg. ders. bei Wichm. p. 1109 ff.), we mention only that 
ofHitzig, Stud. u. Crit. 1830, I. p. 29. He refers the passage to the 
death of Ahaziah, 2 Kings 9 : 27, a reference which Melancthon, 
Opp. t. II. p. 539, (" Similitudo sumta est ab interitu duorum regum, 
OcJtosicB et JosicB, qui ambo non procul a Megiddoh interfecti 
sunt") combines with that to Josiah. But we need only compare 
the marks, which have been exhibited, in order to see, that this ref- 
erence of Hitzig has been adopted only from prejudice, to favor his 
false hypothesis concerning the time of the composition of the second 
part. Ahaziah was any thing but a pious king. " He walked," it is 
said, 2 Kings 8 : 26, " in the way of the house of Ahab, and did 
evil in the eye of the Lord, like the house of Ahab, for he was allied 
in marriage with the house of Ahab." According to a righteous 
retribution of God, his connexion with the house of Ahab brought 
him to his death. We will not deny that the usual lamentation was 
made over him, but surely not such an one, as is here the subject of 
discourse, not a mere ceremony, as the following context shows, but 
proceeding from the heart, not p&rformed by hired persons, but by 
the whole people, and so painful that each one lamented as though 
he had lost his nearest relation. Such a lamentation is made only 
for the father of his country, and in Israel such a person was only 
the true Theocratic prince. The feeling on the death of Aha- 
ziah, smitten of God, who had not time during his short reign to 
render great service to his people, was certainly not anguish. 
Lastly, Ahaziah received his mortal wound, not at Hadadrimmon, 
but in another place, expressly mentioned, chap. 9 : 27. We relin- 
quish, therefore, gladly to the author of this hypothesis the joy of 
having " neutralized " by it the reference to Josiah. — We only 
remark how decisively the verse refutes the reference of the forego- 
ing to Jehovah, and establishes that to the Messiah. How absurd were 
the comparison of the lamentation over the Most High God offended, 
with that over the King Josiah slain ! How well suited, on the con- 
trary, is the latter to be a type of the Messiah ! He was slain on 
account of the sin of his people ; his reign was the last gracious 
look of the Lord ; henceforth inexpressible misery followed ; the 
lamentation for his death arose from the mingled feeling of love, and 
of anguish for their own sins, which had caused him to be sacri- 
ficed. * 


ZECHARIAH 12; 1,-13: G. 231 

V. 12-14. The reason, why the prophet so fully describes the 
lamentation for him who was pierced, is given by Calvin as follows : 
" Videtur frustra plus verhorum consumere Zach., quant opus sit, 
quia plus satis jjrolixus est in re clara. Sed attendere oportet ad 
pondus ipsum : fuit enim incredible, posse ex gente ilia aliquos resi- 
piscere, quum omnes fere dati esscnt in reprohum sensum. Quis 
enim %mquam putasset adhuc esse locum gratice dei, ubi, quantum in 
se erat, omnes a minimo usque ad maximum conati fuissent Christum 
dcmergere in tenebras? " But, together with this general design, a 
special and twofold object appears in this description. 1. To repre- 
sent the lamentation of Israel as real, and not ceremonial ; his con- 
version as inward and genuine. The prophet accomplishes this 
object by continuing the figurative representation he had begun, 
and causing every family, and again in every family, the men and 
women, to mourn apart. It is thus intimated that every family, and 
every division of the same, would mourn, as if they had to lament 
the death of one of their own members. Next, his object was to 
represent the lamentation as strongly as possible, as extending 
through the whole people ; the conversion, not perhaps as relating to 
a few, as at the coming of Christ in humiliation, and shortly after 
that of the most miserable sheep, who esteena the good shepherd, 
chap. 11 : 11, but as a national affair. To accomplish this object, 
the prophet mentions first, two chief tribes, and connects with them, 
in order to show that the conversion would extend from beginning 
to end, two of their chief families, and then joins- with them, in order 
to express the idea of the whole of the people, all the remaining fam- 
ilies. And thus, like Paul, Rom. 11 : 26, he makes all Israel to be 
saved. V. 12. "And the land mourns every family apart, the fami- 
ly of the house of David apart, and their wives apart, the family 
of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart." V. 13. 
" The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart, the 
family of the house of Shimei apart, and their wives apart." V. 14. 
" All the remaining families, every family apart, and their wives 
apart." — In respect to the nearest determination of the families, 
which the prophet here particularly mentions, as participating in the 
lamentation for the Messiah, the interpreters widely differ. At 
first view the hypothesis of Jerome is very plausible : '• In David 
regia tribus accipitur, h. e. Judah. In Nathan prophetcdis ordo 
describitur. Levi refertur ad sacer dotes ex quo ortum est sacerdo- 
tiitm. In Simei doctores accipiuntur ; ex hac enim tribu magistro- 

232 ZECHARIAH 12 : 1. — 13 : 6. 

rum agmina puUularunt. Reliquas tribus tacuit, qu(B non habent 
aliquod privilegium dignitatis. But a closer examination shows 
this view to be wholly untenable. The chief objection is, that, by the 
family of Shimei, the tribe of Simeon cannot possibly be understood. 
For, 1. The patronymic of Simeon is not "'^'.pty, but Shimeoni, Josh. 
21 : 4, 1 Chron. 27 : 16. And, 2. The tribe of Simeon is inappro- 
priate here, where those are mentioned, who enjoy a preeminence. 
This was so far from being the case, that he did not even, like all 
the other tribes, that of Levi excepted, who enjoyed instead a rich 
prerogative, possess a district of his own. That from him proceeded 
the body of magistrates is a Jewish fiction, whose origin can easily 
be pointed out. The Jerusalem Targum paraphrases, Gen. 49 : 7 ; 
" Dividam tribum Shhneonis, ut sint positi doctores legis in ecclesia 
Jacobi et dispergam tribum Levi ; " comp. other Jewish passages in 
Heidegger, Hist. Patriarch. II. p. 484. In this passage of the bless- 
ing of Jacob, we have the origin of the fable. The Rabbins, not 
considering that it is already a blessing for a tribe to belong to the 
people of God, and not to be expelled from among them, inferred 
from : " Jacob blessed them," Gen. 49 : 28, that in the discourse of 
Jacob a special blessing must be contained for each individual tribe. 
The declaration to Simeon appeared now, not to contain any such ; but 
they suffered themselves to be thereby the less perplexed, since the 
apparent curse upon Levi, contained in the same verse, was turned 
into a blessing. With respect to the especial determination of the 
blessing for Simeon, they supposed it must surely be analogous to . 
that of Levi, because a dispersion in Jacob was in like manner an- 
nounced to both. They caused, therefore, the tribe of Simeon to 
share in the office of teachers, with the tribe of Levi, those of a later 
period at least with a certain kind of subordination, as e. g. Jarchi 
makes only the secretaries and schoolmasters proceed from the tribe 
of Simeon. We need scarcely mention, that such an order of 
teachers from the tribe of Simeon is wholly unknown to history. 
— The key to a right view is furnished by correctly determin- 
ing the family of Shimei. This can be done with certainty from 
Num. 3: 18, sq. Levi had three sons, Gershom, Kahath, Merari. 
Gershom two sons, Libni and Schimei. The fapiily of the latter 
is named, verse 21, exactly as here, 'l^ptyn nnsiB'p, the family of 
the Shimcitc. Accordingly an individual, and indeed a subordi- 
nate family of the same, is here associated with the whole tribe 
of Levi. No doubt now remains, that the family of the house of 

ZECHARIAH 12 : I. — 13 : 6. 233 

Nathan, also, cannot be the posterity of the prophet in the time of 
David, nor still less the prophetic order, which, as not being de- 
scended from Nathan, cannot possibly be designated as his family. 
The family of Nathan must rather be a branch of the family of 
David, in like manner as that of Shimei is a branch of that of Levi, 
It is therefore evident, that the prophet intended the family of Na- 
than, a son of David, who is mentioned 2 Sam. 5 : 14, Luke 3:31; 
that among the sons of David he mentions precisely him, happened, 
because Nathan, like Shimei, was only a founder of a subordinate 
family. We have, therefore, the two chief families in the earlier 
Theocracy, the kingly and the priestly, and, joined with them, two 
of their subdivisions, in order to show that the conversion of every 
family would extend to all its members. 

Chap. 13. 

V. 1. " At that time a fountain shall be opened for the house of 
David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for unclean- 
ness." The penitential sorrow of Israel will not be in vain, as in- 
deed it cannot be, since it has been awakened in him by the Lord. 
Calvin: " Summa est, deumfore exorabilem Judceis, ubi ita affecti 
fuerint sincero dolore, et paratam illis fore i'econciliationem, quia 
dominus ab omni inquinamento eos ptirgabit. — Quamvis modis 
omnibus sese inquinaverint Judcei, ita ut merito fceteant coram dei 
ocnlis, et detestabilis sit eorum immtmdities, tamen fontem illis fore 
paratum, quo se purgent, ut scil. prodcant in conspectum dei puri 
et mnndi" The fountain is the divine grace, which imparts to the 
penitent people the forgiveness of sin ; the "water here is not, as else- 
where, represented as assuaging thirst, but as purifying. The open 
fountain, according to most interpreters, is here contrasted with one 
shut up, whose water is accessible only to the possessor, the 'I'l}?! hi 
and D^nn |^^o, wherewith. Cant. 4 : 12, the lover compares the be- 
l0"ved, whose loveliness is for him alone. But more correctly Schul- 
tens, Animadvv. Philol. p. 549, scaturiet fons. The fountain is 
shut up so long as it is concealed in the stones : it is opened when 
it breaks forth. Parallel is Is. 41 : 18 : "I will open, nn3J>?, on the 
high places streams." 35:6, D'Snfi D\?3 i;;p^j. — On n^p, comp. 
Ezek. 36 : 17, Is. 64 : 5. 

VOL. II. 30 

234 ZECHARIAH 12:1.-13:0. 

V. 2. The consequence of the forgiveness of sins is a new life of 
righteousness and holiness, a renunciation, effected by the aid of the 
Lord, of all that opposes his revealed will. " And it shall come to 
pass in that day, saith the Lord of Hosts, that I abolish the names 
of the idols out of the land, and they shall not he mentioned any 
more ; and also the prophets, and the unclean spirit, will I remove 
from the land." Calvin : " Sicut solis exortu fugantur tenebrcB et 
apparet distincta rerum omnium fades, sic etiam, ubi deus emergit 
per sui verbi doctrinam, necesse est procul facessere omnes Satance 
imposturas." The removal of every thing ungodly from Israel, now 
again become the covenant people, the prophet here expresses by 
the abolition of the two manifestations of ungodliness, idolatry and 
false prophecy, which in the former Theocracy had most prevailed, 
and we need not hence infer their prevalence in the time of the 
prophet, or in the future which he describes. These particular man- 
ifestations are only accidental, the substance is ungodliness, which is 
always the same, whether it reveals itself as idolatry and false proph- 
ecy, as in this instance, or as Pharisaical self-righteousness. This 
supposition can here cause the less difficulty, since we have so many 
striking examples of a designation of the future by the past or pres- 
ent, agreeing with it in substance, though differing in form. The 
extirpation of the names, " And they shall no more be mentioned," 
is a frequent designation of the most complete extinction ; comp. 
e. g. Hos. 2 : 19, 14 : 9, Mich. 5 : 11, 13. In respect to the latter, 
aptly Calvin : " Intelligit tantamfore detestationem superstitionum,ut 
populus etiam ad nomen ipsurn horreat." — " The prophets." That 
we are not, with Eichhorn and Rijckert, to regard the prophet here 
as predicting the abolition of the prerogatives of prophecy, but rather 
only the extirpation of the false prophets, appears from the colloca- 
tion of the prophets with the idols on the one hand, and with the 
unclean spirit on the other; from the phrase, "I will cause to 
pass out of the land," which points to a violent expulsion of some- 
thing bad in itself and polluting to the land ; and from the further 
description, which follows, where two kinds of false prophets are 
spoken of, those who speak falsehood in the nam* of the Lord, and 
those who combine false prophecy whh idolatry. The false proph- 
ets are called also in other passages simply prophets, (comp. on chap. 
10 : 2,) because the use of this name, which they had usurped, in 
contrast with their real character, served to make their guilt appear in 
a stronger light, just as the prophet in the foregoing chapter calls the 

ZECHARIAH 12 : I. — 13 : 6. 235 

wolves in the shepherd's clothes, shepherds. The article can prove 
nothing in favor of the prophets in general being intended, since it 
rather points to a species of prophets defined by the whole context. — 
The unclean spirit, on the one hand, stands in antithesis with the 
Holy Spirit, who, according to chap. 12 : 10, was to be poured out, 
and the fountain for the removal of uncleanness, v. 1, on the other. 
The special reference to idolatry and false prophecy, chiefly to the 
latter, appears from the collocation with them ; that the prophet had 
in view a person, or even merely a personification, does not appear 
from the article. For this can be explained, either, by an allusion 
to the former Theocracy, the unclean spirit, who is known to you 
by his former dominion and ruinous effects ; or, from the antithesis 
with the Holy Spirit, or from the reference to the false prophets, the 
unclean spirit by whom they are moved. So much, however, cer- 
tainly appears from this designation, that the false prophets, as well as 
the true, perhaps also the. worshippers of idols as well as the worship- 
pers of the true God, were under the dominion of a principle foreign 
to themselves, to which they had surrendered themselves by their 
own free act. For nn never stands merely for a man's own dis- 
position. The same also is evident from the relation, 1 Kings 22, 
where the spirit of prophecy, which, in accordance with the char- 
acter of the vision appears personified, offers to deceive Ahab by 
putting false predictions into the mouth of the prophets of the calves. 
It is here evident, that the false prophets, as well as the true, were 
under an influence foreign from their nature, a doctrine which is 
confirmed also by the fundamental view of the New Testament con- 
cerning the kingdom of darkness and of light, both in like manner 
having possession of the minds of those subject to them, (comp. e. g. 
the parable of the tares and the wheat.) — In numerous passages of 
the Sohar, the fulfilment of this promise is placed in the Messianic 
time. We here bring forward only a kv/. " Sin will not cease 
from the world until the King Messiah will come at a future time, as 
the Scripture says : I will cause the unclean spirit," &c. — " The 
left side will have the upper hand and the unclean be strong, until 
the Holy God shall build the temple, and firmly establish the world ; 
then will his word gain its deserved honor, and the unclean side will 
go out of the world. And that is what the Scripture says : I will 
cause the unclean spirit," &,c. Comp. these and other passages 
in Schottgen, Jesus der wahre Messias, p. 407 sq. 

V. 3. '' And it happens, if a man still prophecy , his father and 

236 ZECHARIAH 12 : 1. ~ 13 : 6. 

his mother, who begat Mm, speak thus to him : Thou shalt not live, 
for thou hast spoken lies in the name of the Lord; and his father 
and his mother, who hegat him, pierce him through in his prophecy- 
ing." Jerome : " Statim pater ejus et mater obliviscentur paren- 
tum, nt dei retineant servitutem, et proferent contra flium mortis 
sententiam, et tarn pics erunt omnium in deum mentes, ut non exspec- 
tetur publicum judicium, sed pereant, qui tales sunt, sententia pro- 
pinquorum." The fundamental thought is : At that time the com- 
mand to love God above all, to renounce all that a man has for 
his sake, will be obeyed. In the expression of this thought the 
prophet has in view the passages, Deut. 13 : 6 - 10 and 18 : 20, 
where the nearest relation of the false prophet was commanded, re- 
gardless of all natural feelings, to put him to death, as a violation of 
the majesty of God. The fact of false prophecy, as Ch. B. Michae- 
lis has justly remarked, is here stated only hypothetically ; the 
prophet employs it only as a foundation for his description of the 
entire devotedness of the covenant people to God. The phrase his 
begetters is peculiarly emphatic, and "is therefore repeated in the 
relation of the command. It intimates, how hard it must be for 
parents to deny their natural feeling of parental love, and how great 
therefore must be their love for God. Hitzig (1. c. p. 28) asserts, that 
the verb nV stands here, according to the older idiom of Genesis, in 
the sense to beget, and grounds upon it his chief philological argu- 
ment for the composition of the second part long before Zechariah. 
But what can be expected of a critic who avails himself of such 
proof. As the Hebrew has no word for parents, the prophet was 
obliged to employ a designation, which strictly taken was suited 
only to one party. — The verb -ij^l, according to several interpre- 
ters, does not imply a mortal piercing, but only corporeal -punish- 
ment. The contrary, however, appears partly from what precedes, 
" Thou shalt not live," since here the execution of the sentence only 
is related ; partly from the passages of the law, which the prophet 
had in view. In these the subject of discourse is not punishment 
in general, but putting to death. Comp. Deut. 18 : 20 : " The 
prophet, who presumes to speak any thing in my name, which I 
have not commanded him, and he who speaks in the name of 
strange gods, shall die " ; Michaelis, Mos. R. V. § 252. The heav- 
iest punishment best serves also to express the thought which the 
prophet intends. What has led to this supposition is an erroneous 
idea, that the false prophet in this verse must belong to those who 

ZECHARIAH 12 . 1. — 13 : 6. 237 

come forward as actors in what follows. — Moses, in his laws relat- 
ing to false prophets, had mentioned two classes, those who pre- 
dicted falsely in the name, under the authority of the true God, giving 
themselves out as his servants and ambassadors ; and those who 
prophesied in the name of strange gods, derived inspiration from 
them. Here the prophet brings before us one of the former ; v. 5, 6, 
one of the latter. — " In the very act of prophesying." The parents, 
as soon as they see the sin, without taking long counsel with flesh 
and blood, inflict the punishment. 

V. 4. " And in that day the prophets shall desist, ashamed, from 
their vision in their prophesying , and they shall no longer put on the 
hairy mantle to lie." On the prophets themselves, the deceivers 
who are least susceptible of good impressions, the great revolution of 
affairs shall have such an influence, that they will give up their pro- 
fession from shame. " In their prophesying " again, i. q. " in the 
very act of prophesying." It is not to be joined with irjrit?, but with 
itC'D.". In the very commission of sin, when it is the sweetest and 
most captivates the mind, they determine to renounce it. With 
respect to the irregular infinitive form, to be explained from a con- 
founding of the verbs xS and nS, comp. Ewald, p. 454. E'O with 
|r3, "to desist from any thing ashamed." "li'ti/ r»n!Jb*, hairy mantle, 
was the garment of the true prophets, which was imitated by the 
false, in order to impose on the people, with whom the garment 
makes the man ; comp. Is. 20 : 2, 2 Kings 1 : 8. According to the 
prevailing view, defended at length particularly by Vitringa, on Is. 
1. c, the prophets wore this garment as ascetics. But, as the hairy gar- 
ment is elsewhere always peculiar to mourners, and as the prophets 
themselves not unfrequently exhort to put it on, as a sign of anguish 
for sin and the divine judgments, either still impending or already 
inflicted, it is certainly more obvious to assume, that, with them also, 
this dress had the same meaning; that it was a sermo propheticus 
realis, a symbol of the lamentation of the prophet over the sins of the 
people, and over the divine judgments, which they called forth ; 
and the more so, since elsewhere we do not find in the prophecies of 
the Old Testament any trace of a properly ascetic life. In order 
to lie can either mean, in order thereby to give themselves out as 
true prophets, to deceive the people by this dress, or in order there- 
by to procure admission for their lying prophecies. The former is 
to be preferred on account of the following verse, where, to the 
former attempts of the false prophets to pass themselves off for the 
true, is opposed their open confession to the contrary. 

238 ZECHARIAH 18 : 1. — 13 : 6. 

V. 5. " And he says, I am no prophet, I am a husbandman. For 
a man has sold me from the time of my youth." The false prophets 
were mostly of the lowest order. The ruling motive with them was 
indolence, which caused them to hate a life of labor j and ambition, 
which stimulated them to force themselves into the more respectable 
order of teachers of the people. This appears from Isaiah 9 : 13, 14, 
among other passages, where there is a contrast between the honor- 
able, as the head of the people, and the false prophets as the tail, as the 
representatives of the rabble. Now at that time the better principle 
will so gain the ascendency over them, that they will rather wish to 
appear what they are, even though they are hired husbandmen, than 
what they formerly aspired to. Calvin : " Ego non fui in schola, 
ego bestia eram, et tamen volui videri doctissimus magister ; sed tunc 
stupor popitli velavit mtam ignominiam ; nunc autem lux doctrines 
nobis affulsit, quce cogit me ad pudorem, et ideo jam fateor, me non 
esse dignum, qui audiar in coztu, quia parafus sum manus meas 
potius exercere vili et sordido labore, ut inde mihi victum accipiam, 
qtiam amplius decipere, sicut hactenus feci." The prophet repre- 
sents a scene between a former false prophet and some one who 
asked him concerning his circumstances, and from whom he sought 
to conceal with shame, that he had ever been a false prophet, — 
whence it appears that Calvin has well expressed the inward thought 
but not the language of the false prophet, — until he is forced, 
(comp. V. 6) by a new question to this mortifying confession. From 
this dramatic character of the representation, the double in^'l is ex- 
plained here and v. 6, without a nearer designation of the person 
who speaks. In the drama the persons are known from their dis- 
courses and actions. ''JJP.n has received very different explanations. 
This however would not have been the case, if it had been taken 
simply in its usual meaning of Hiphil : njp , to inherit, to possess, in 
Hiphil to cause to inherit, to possess, then to give to any one to be 
possessed. In this sense the Hiphil of HJp^ stands in the only pas- 
sage where it occurs besides, Ezek. 8 : 3, on which Cocceius re- 
marks : " Videtur esse aut anaclasis ant paronomasia : simulacri, 
quod deum facit zelare, facitque Israelitas servos tradi hostibus." 
The selling of servants, especially of debtors and their whole fami- 
lies, was so common, that the expression 'Ipp ^IP.? became almost 
the usual appellation of servants ; comp. Michaelis, Mos. R., II. § 123. 
The general designation Dnx is chosen because the person of the 
seller was here not important, but only the action, the sale. The 

ZECHARIAH 12 : 1. — 13 : 6. 239 

phrase, " from my youth," is intended to obviate the suspicion, that 
perhaps the present husbandman might formerly have been a prophet. 
If he were not an independent husbandman, but a servant in the 
employment of another, even with the best inclination to act the 
part of a prophet, he was, as it appears, restrained therefrom by out- 
ward circumstances. He had better, to be sure, if he wished entirely 
to set aside the suspicion, not have begun with, " I am no prophet." 
But the anxiety lest he should be known as a former prophet so 
overcomes him, that he loses his self-possession, and by the very 
denial puts the inquirer on the right track. 

V. 6. " Thtz former says : What then are these wounds between 
thy hands ; he says, They were inflicted upon me in the house of my 
lovers." According to several interpreters the former false prophet 
here proceeds with his falsehood. So Kimchi : " Non sunt plag(B 
oh prophetiam inflictcB, sed quibus ab illis, qui me amabant, in ptieri- 
tia castigatus sum, quod deses in colendo agro fuissem." Accord- 
ing to others, confessing his shame, he says, that the wounds have 
truly been given him on account of his prophesying, and indeed, as 
he well perceives, out of true love by his parents. So Jerome : " In 
tantum fugato mendacio Veritas ohtinebit, ut etiam ipse, qui sua 
punitus est vitio, rccte perpessum se esse fatf,atur." Both interpreta- 
tions, however, are plainly untenable. They take the part. Pi. 
□'nnxn in a good sense, while, in accordance with the character of 
Piel as an intensive form, (comp. Ewald, p. 196,) it occurs only of 
impure and base love, either spiritual or corporeal, especially of 
idols, and indeed so frequently, and moreover chiefly in Jeremiah 
and Ezekiel, that only extreme necessity could induce us here to 
relinquish this meaning. We therefore without hesitation agree 
with those, who here find a reference to the wounds commonly in- 
flicted in idolatrous worship. The chief passages for this custom, 
which is still continued in modern times in the East, are found in 
Le Clerc, Calmet, and Dereser, on 1 Kings 18 : 28. The two last, 
but incorrectly, cite in its favor Herod. 7, 191, for the IVro/xa ts 
noisvvTsg there practised by the Magi, can be regarded as belonging 
to this practice only by a false interpretation ; and further, in Rosen- 
miiller, A. u. N. Morgenl. 3, p. 189 flf., and Creuzer, Symbolik, 11. 
p. 40. We content ourselves here with showing that this custom 
also existed in the idolatrous worship, which prevailed among the 
Hebrews. The chief proof is furnished by the cited passage of 
Kings, where it is said of the priests and prophets of Baal : " They 

240 ZECHARIAH 12 : 1. — 13 : 6. 

cried louder and scratched themselves, after their manner, with 
knives and awls, until the blood flowed down from them." In proof 
also is Jeremiah 16 : 6, 41 : 5; according to which the heathenish 
practice of wounding themselves in their lamentation over the dead 
or a great public calamity, as it prevailed among the surrounding 
people, particularly the Philistines and Moabites, (corap. 47 : 5, 
48 : 37,) was introduced also among the Hebrews. For this usage 
was not indeed a mere symbol of distress, but it was closely con- 
nected with idolatry and the wounds usually inflicted in the practice 
of it. This appears from Deut. 14: 1. There the infliction of wounds 
in mourning is interdicted to the Israelites on the ground, that, inas- 
much as they were the holy people of God, they must not pollute 
themselves with idolatrous practices. This connexion will be more 
manifest, if we more closely investigate the origin and import of the 
practice of inflicting wounds in idolatrous worship. The best dis- 
closure is furnished us by a passage of Apuleius cited by Le Clerc, 1. 
c. : " Infit vaticinatione damosa, conficto mendacio, semet ipsum inces' 
sere atque criminari, quasi contra fas sanctte rcligionis designasset 
aliquid, et insuper justas poenas noxii facinoris ipse suis manibus ex- 
poscere. Arrepto denique jlagro, quod semiviris illis proprium ges- 

taman est , indidetn sese multimodis commulcat ictihus, mira 

contra plagarum dolores prcesumtione munitus. Cerneres prosectu 
gladiorum icttique jlagrorum solum spurcitie sanguinis effeminati 
madescere." According to this passage, as well as another of Clem. 
Alex, in Calmet, the practice of wounding arose from an obscure con- 
sciousness of guilt, and the necessity of reconciliation, which mani- 
fests itself in such manifold ways in idolatrous worship. Man raged 
unsparing against his own body, in order thereby to make a sort of 
satisfaction, and gain for himself the favor of the angry gods. This 
feeling of guilt, however, was awakened with peculiar vividness by 
the death of beloved persons, not merely because their loss was 
regarded as a punishment, but also because death in general, which 
comes the closer to ourselves the more dear to us its victims, awakens 
even in the rudest minds an anticipation of what it really is, the 
wages of the sins of mankind. In like manner also was this feel- 
ing awakened by public calamity, so far as this was generally 
regarded as the punishment of an angry God or angry idols. — We 
are not, however, without proofs, that this usage stood especially in 
close connexion with the prophecies of the idolatrous prophets. In 
this connexion it occurs immediately in the cited passage of Kings, 


ZECH ARI A H 13 ■ ] . — 13 : 6. 24 1 

(comp. V.29,) as in general the whole of that relation bears testimony 
to the close connexion of idolatry and false prophecy. The priests 
of Baal are at the same time his prophets. Especially remarkable, 
however, is the passage of Tibullus, Lib. I. Eleg. 1, v. 43 sq., concern- 
ing the service of Cybele : 

" Ipsa bipennc suos cccdit violenta lacertos, 
Smiguineque effus'o spargit inept a dcum, 
Atqua latus prafixa veru stat saucin pectus, 
Et canit eventtis, quos dea magna movct." 
This connexion is explained by the feeling, that a man must render 
satisfaction to the divinity for his sins, before he can be worthy to 
enjoy his favor and be employed in his service. — No consideration 
is due to the doubt of Rosenmi'iller, whether m3g could be used of 
these inflictions and the scars arising from them. Apuleius desig- 
nates them, as we have already seen, by the entirely corresponding 
plagcB. Seneca, in Augustine, De Civ. Dei, 6, 10, says : " Se ipsiin 
tcmplis contrucidant, vidnerihus suis ac sanguine supplicant." An 
apparent objection might yet be derived from " I have been smit- 
ten," while most accounts of this practice speak only of a self-inflic- 
tion. But it appears from the accounts of more recent travellers, 
(comp. Olearius, p. 332,) that mutual wounds are given, and " more- 
over, I have been smitten " does by no means exclude wounding one's 
self. The former prophet may have chosen the passive intention- 
ally, because he was only the second cause ; the Jirst cause was the 
Q'^D'^^. The case more closely considered, the prophet himself 
was chiefly passive in his action. The latter supposition is rendered 
the more probable by the choice of D'^nxn as a designation of the 
idols, which was certainly not accidental. "My lovers" stands 
manifestly in contrast with " I have been smitten." In a manner 
entirely similar, the madness of this sort of idolatry is described by 
Seneca, 1. c. : " Ut sic dii placentur, quemadmodum ne homines qui- 
dem sccviunt tetcrrimi et in fabulas traditce crudelitatis. Tyranni 
laceraverunt aliquorum membi-a, neminem sua lacei'arejusserunt. In 
regicB libidinis voluptatem castrati sunt quidam ; sed nemo sibi, ne 
vir esset, jubentc domino, inanus intulit" — The connexion of this 
verse with the foregoing is as follows. The former prophet being 
asked concerning his occupation, seeks in the first place to remove 
from himself all suspicion of having abandoned his inferior calling. 
As however the inquirer reminds him of the suspicious scars which 
were found upon him, he confesses witli shame his former folly, the 

VOL. It. 31 

242 ZECHARIAH 13: 7-9. 

consciousness of which he at the same time hetrays by his manner. 
The plirase ^"V y;i still requires explanation. According to several 
interpreters it means precisely, in the hands. But this supposition is 
by no means justified by an appeal to Prov. 26 : 13, " The lion is 
nnnnn j'-n." " Between the streets " there signifies out of the 
streets themselves, their environs, public places, &c. On the other 
hand, however, we are not justified with Gesenius, Thes. s. v., in ex- 
plaining "J'T' I'a by, " in corp ore tyo, maxim e in facie." It istrue, that 
such a wider usage is found in Arabic. The phrase /.vJ(_Xj (.M-* 
there signifies " ante faciem, in conspectu, in prcBsentia." In the 
Arabs Erpenii 'Jab is always rendered thereby ; in the Vita Ti- 
muri we often find Cl^^.^.■? (l^^.^ VMX/OI , obedientem se stitit coram 
eo ; comp. Schultens, Animadvv. Phil. p. 39, on Job, p. 389. But 
very much has become obsolete in Arabic, which in Hebrew, and 
in that only, still occurs in its original import. We had better, as is 
evident, particularly from a comparison of the cited passage of Prov- 
erbs, explain " between thy hands" by "in and near them." Be- 
tween is then chosen for in, to show that not precisely the hands 
alone are intended; it determines only in general the region, in 
such a manner however, that the hands are chiefly meant, and that 
such distant members, as the head or the shoulders, are not to be 
thought of. That the hands, however, are chiefly mentioned is not 
indeed owing entirely to the circumstance of their being uncovered, 
and the wounds upon them therefore chiefly visible. It appears 
from Jeremiah 48 : 37, where it is said, in the description of the 
lamentation of the Moabites, miTJ 0!!^"'^ ^'^_i " Upoi^ all hands 
are cuts," that the hands were wont especially to be wounded. The 
passages of the classic writers and the fathers speak chiefly of the 
arms, which are here certainly included, e. g. " lacertos secat," Sen- 
eca ; " sua quisque hrachia dissecant," Apuleius. 

Chap. 13: v. 7-9. 

The shepherd of the Lord, closely united with him, shall be torn 
away by a violent death from his flock, the covenant people ; de- 
prived of the shepherd, the flock shall then disperse, and be given 

ZECHARIAH 13:7-9. 243 

up to extreme misery. But the Lord will not withdraw his hand 
from them for ever. lie will rather restore his people again to favor 
after he has cleansed and purified them. First, two thirds shall be 
taken away by a fearful divine judgment ; the remaining third shall 
then be led by the Lord through the severest trials and purifications, 
until at last it truly turns to him. 

This prophecy forms a brief repetition, and at the same time a 
supplement, of that in chap. 1 1 and 12-13:6. It is in vain to at- 
tempt (comp. Mark on v. 7,) to connect it closely with what imme- 
diately precedes. It stands in about the same relation to both 
prophecies as Is. 52: 13-15, to chap. 53. It presents us in one 
view with what had been separated by the length of the preceding 

V. 7. " Sword awake against my shepherd, and against a man, 
my nearest relation, saith the Lord of Hosts ; smite the shepherd 
and the jlocTc is scattered, and I bring back my hand upon the 
small." There can be no doubt that here, by the shepherd of the 
Lord, is to be understood the same person united with him by a 
mysterious unity of being, who, according to chap. II, undertook 
the pastoral office over the miserable people, and made the last 
effort to preserve them, but whose faithfulness was rewarded with 
base ingratitude, who was even, according to chap. 12 : 10, put to 
death by them ; whose rejection, according to chap. 11, had entirely 
the same results for the covenant people, as are here attributed to his 
death, the destruction of the greater part of the people, comp. v. 8 
with chap. 11 : C, 9, 1.5 - 17 ; nay, whose death is even represented, 
chap. 12 : 10, as indirectly the cause of all the sufferings experienced 
by the people ; since repentance for his murder, appears there, as the 
cause of the deliverance from all these sufferings. Hence it is suffi- 
ciently evident, that all those interpretations are to be rejected, which 
understand by the shepherd any other than the Messiah ; whether, as, 
with most of the Jewish interpreters, (comp. Jos. De Voisin, Observv. 
in Procem. Pug. Fid. p. 160. Hulsius, Theol. Jud. p. 54. Eisner, 
Prees. Wessel, de Messia Gladio Judicis, non Belli percutiendo. Lei- 
den, 1741), the ideal pseudo-Messias, Ben Joseph; or, with Jarchi, 
even a hostile general, who is called by the Lord ironically his 
she-pherd ; or, with Grotiuson Matt. 26 : 31, " the foolish shepherd," 

244 ZECHARIAH 13:7-9. 

of whom chap. 11 : 15- 17; or, with the same on this passage, who, 
as is apt t ) be the case where a man brings forward merely his sud- 
den thoughts, is inconsistent, or, with Jahti {Einl. 2, p. 671), Judas 
Maccabeus ; or, with the Rationalist interpreters (comp. Koster 
1. c. p. 183. Bertholdt, Einl. p. 1718. Eichhorn, Propheten z. d. St.), 
an ideal general, who should be slain in battle with the enemy ; or 
lastly, with Calvin and Drusius, the collective body of all the spiritual 
and civil rulers of the people, Christ being included. — All these inter- 
pretations have against them, besides the authority of Christ, the 
following context : " Against a man, my nearest relation." This 
would not, to be sure, be the case, if n"'p;^', as is often asserted, could 
designate a fellow in every relation. The shepherd would be called 
the fellow of the Lord, because he also is the shepherd of his people. 
But this supposition is entirely untenable. n''p;? is one of those 
words, which, peculiar to the Pentateuch, have entirely disappeared 
from the later idiom. It occurs in the Pentateuch eleven tinaes, 
and nowhere else. Hence it appears, that Zechariah took it, as 
well as ^-i^X, (comp. on chap. 12 : 5), not from the living language, 
but from the Pentateuch, and that we must understand it therefore 
in precisely the sense in which it is there used. It occurs, how- 
ever, only in the laws respecting the injury of a neighbour, and 
always with peculiar emphasis, intimating how grievous a crime it is 
to injure those connected with us by a common corporeal and spir- 
itual origin. It is interchanged as synonymous with brother, which 
in the laws of the Pentateuch uniformly refers to the common corpo- 
real and spiritual descent. We will here cite the eleven passages, 
in which it occurs. Levit. 19: 11, "Ye shall not lie nor deceive 
in'Di'a '&'^," (comp. Ephes. 4 : 28.) V. 15. " Righteously shait 
thou judge '"jD"'??]^." V. 17. " Thou shalt not hate thy brother in 
the heart; thou shalt reprove ^i^!'^^.." Levit. 18 : 20, " Thou shalt 
not defile ^i?'?>' n'^'x." 24 : 19, " When any one inflicts a corpo- 
real injury in'p^'B, as he has done, so shall it be done to him." 
25 : 15, " When thou buyest any thing of thy neighbour or sellest 
any thing to thy neighbour, you shall not injure each one his 
brother." In like manner, v. 16 and 17, " And ye shall not injure 
each one his neighbour, and thou shalt fear before thy God." Levit. 
5 : 20, " A soul, if it sins and does wickedly against the Lord, and 
lies against his neighbour (in that which was intrusted to him), — 
or oppresses his neighbour." We hope every one will concede that 
n-pi' in all these places, in a manner entirely different from our word 

ZECHARI All 13:7-9. 245 

neighbour, diluted and deprived through sin of its original worth, 
and for the most part suggesting only any other person, is used to 
designate the closest possible relation among men, and one which 
cannot indeed be arbitrarily formed, but comes by birth, and continues 
even against one's will, and exposes him to condemnation when he 
violates it. But hence it appears, that, when this designation is trans- 
ferred to the relation of an individual to God, he cannot possibly be 
a mere man, but rather he who is united with the Lord by a mysteri- 
ous unity of nature, and who has already, in chap. 11, 12, as such, 
so plainly appeared. — For designating him here by the n''Dy of the 
Lord, the prophet must have had a peculiar reason, when we consider 
that JVO^H occurs exclusively in the laws de non ItBclendo proximo. 
He thus gives prominence to the apparent contradiction between 
the command of the Lord, " Sword, awake against my shepherd," 
and the requisitions of his own law, which forbids any one to injure 
his neighbour. He shows in this way, how exalted must have been 
the aim for whose accomplishment the Lord disregarded that relation, 
whose type he had commanded to be held sacred among men. He 
directs their attention, to speak after the manner of men, to the 
greatness of the sacrifice, which this must cost the Lord. The sub- 
joined "^.^A stands in a certain antithesis with ^T^^nV . He whom the 
sword should smite, must combine the human with the divine nature. 
"^Si often signifies man in contrast with God ; comp. Winer, s. v. 
We need not here, with several interpreters, seek for the associated 
idea of strength, which the word, like man in English, has in sev- 
eral places. — The personification of the sword, in the address to it, 
finds a complete analogy in the prophecy of Jeremiah against Phi- 
listia, chap. 47 : 6, where the prophet, from human sympathy with 
the fate of those against whom he prophesies, exclaims : " Ha, 
sword of the Lord, how long wilt thou not rest ; return back into thy 
sheath ; be quiet and still ! Yet how canst thou be quiet, since the 
Lord has commanded it, since against Askalon and against the 
bank of the sea has he sent it." It is shown by this command, that 
the Lord is the first cause of the death of his shepherd, that the 
human authors are only his instruments; as the Lord, John 19 : 11, 
says to Pilate : " Thou wouldst have no power against me except it 
were given thee from above." The expression, aioaJce, shows that 
the sword, in accordance with the personification of it, is to be re- 
garded as hitherto at rest. Schmid : " Po&ucb istcc hactenns ChriS' 
turn manserunt ; vondumfuit lis concesstim, ut eum invoderent ; jam 

246 ZECHARIAH 13:7-9. 

vero aternus pater, solutis quasi vinculis et apertis ubique portis, 
potestatem iis facit, ut filium suum adoriantur." That the sioord is 
called upon to smite the shepherd of the Lord, expresses in like 
manner as pierced, chap. 12 : 10, which intimates not a cut but a 
stab, only his impending death without defining the manner of it. 
The sword, as the usual instrument of the judge and the warrior, 
often stands instead of every fatal instrument, where the instrument 
itself is not important, but only the infliction of wounds and of death. 
The most striking example is 2 Sam. 12 : 9, " Thou hast slain him, 
Uriah, by the sword, 3"?n3, of the children of Ammon," while, ac- 
cording to 2 Sam. 11 : 24, he was pierced by the arrows of the Am- 
monites. — 2 Sam. 11: 25, after David receives from Joab the 
message that several of his people had been slain by the hostile 
archers, he makes him say again : " Let not this thing displease 
thee ; for the sword devoureth one as well as another ; only make thy 
battle strong against the city." A similar general use of the sword 
is found also Exod. 5:21, "Ye have made our savour to stink 
before Pharaoh and his servants, giving the sword into their hands 
to kill us; " Jerem. 2 : 23, " Your sword has devoured your proph- 
ets;" Ps. 22 : 21, " Deliver from the sword my soul" (comp. Vol. 
I. p. 146.) ; Matt. 26 : 52, " He who takes the sword shall perish 
by the sword." What murderer would avoid the application of the 
sentence to himself, which is a repetition of what is expressed in 
altogether general terms. Gen. 9 : 6, on the ground that he had kill- 
ed his neighbour, not by the sword, but by another instrument? 
According to the same idiom the right of the magistrates among the 
Romans to inflict every kind of capital punishment, was called the 
jus gladii. — The address, " Smite the shepherd," according to 
several interpreters, is no longer directed to the sword ; Michaelis, 
" Per cute, quisquis percuties ;" but the fact, that n'^n is feminine, 
gives no justification for this, since there is here a personification, 
comp. e. g. Gen. 4 : 7, where sin, personified as a ravenous beast, is 
construed as masculine. — " Smite the shepherd, and then the herd 
roill dispersed Is the shepherd either in the natural or spiritual 
sense slain, the flock is wont to disperse. The prophet seems here 
to have special reference to 1 Kings 22 : 17, where the prophet 
Micah says to Jehoshaphat and Ahab, predicting the death of the 
latter : " I saw all Israel scattered on the hills as a flock, which has 
no shepherd : and the Lord said. These have no shepherd, let them 
return each one to his houee in peace ;" comp. 1 Mace. 9 : 18 : Kal 

ZECHARIAH 13:7-9. 247 

^lovdag sTtsas' xal ol lomol k'cpvyop. By a misunderstanding of the New 
Testament citations of the passage, many interpreters have been led 
to take the Jlock here in too limited a sense, and refer only to a part, 
what belongs to the whole. Thus the Dialogus cam Tryphone un- 
derstands by the flock only the disciples of the Lord, nnd finds the 
complete fulfilment in their flight after his arrest. Ambrose finds it 
in the dispersion of the apostles into all lands, and in their preach- 
ing the doctrine of Christ. (Serm. II. in Ps. 118.) According to 
Michaelis, the flock are apostoli, aliique Judcsi, in Christtim Jesum 
crcdcntes, as Jerome long before understood thereby oinnem in 
Christo muUitudinem credcntium. This limitation, however, is 
equally as incorrect as the opposite one of the converted R. Samuel, 
Liber de Adveniu MessicB, (in the Monurnenta Oi'tkodoxogropha, 
Basel, 15.55, p. 1302 sq.) chap. 19, who appears to understand, by 
the flock, exclusively the ungodly part of the people to be scattered 
by the Romans : " Crucijixo Christo, qtii pastor erat, Judceos disper- 
ses esse per orbem terrce, postqunm capti et venditi sunt Romanis." 
The true sense of the passage was seen by Wessel, 1. c. and Mark. 
The flock must embrace the sheep collectively, which the shepherd 
had to feed. These however were not, according to chap. 11, the 
believers alone, but the whole Jewish people, see especially on v. 7 ; 
the most miserable sheep, who regarded the shepherd, appear v. 1 1 , 
only as one part of this flock. Still more decisive however is what 
follows. The flock are plainly the small, who are represented imme- 
diately afterwards as an object of further divine care. But, that we 
cannot by these understand the believers only, or indeed the apos- 
tles, without destroying the whole connexion between v. 7 and v. 8, 
9, we shall soon see. Accordingly, under the image of sheep without 
a shepherd, the whole Jewish people after the death of the Messiah, 
are here described. In what manner, and how long they were 
without a shepherd, and consequently wretched, depended on their 
spiritual condition, and on the corresponding dealings of the Lord. 
The desertion of the apostles and other believers by their shepherd, 
was only temporary ; the Lord soon returned to them. The unbe- 
lieving portion of the people still wander about as sheep, who have no 
shepherd. — The phrase, "to bring back the hand upon any one," 
i. q., to make him either the object of an action, or an operation, is 
of itself indefinite ; and whether it stands in a good or a bad sense, 
must in every case be decided by the connexion. Several interpre- 
ters here assume the latter, after the Chaldee, the Seventy, and the 

248 ZECHARIAH 13:7-9. 

Greek interpreters, who follow them. This supposition appears at 
first sight to be favored by what follows ; since in v. 8 the discourse 
relates to a heavy judgment to be inflicted on the dispersed flock. 
But on a closer examination we find that the former interpretation 
is the only correct one. The judgment described in v. 8, according 
to another mode of considering the subject, was a proof of the far- 
ther exercise of the special providence of God over the people ; God 
thereby realized the condition, on which alone they could be restored 
to their ancient gracious relation to him, and become again the peo- 
ple of God. Every judgment upon the ungodly is indeed a benefit 
to the church of the Lord. That this view here prevails, appears 
sufficiently evident from v. 9 ; it is also evident from " the small." 
For this designation intimates the sympathy of the Lord with the 
wretched condition of the poor sheep, just as, chap. 11:7, the shep- 
herd undertakes to feed the flock, because they are the most miser- 
able sheep. We find the same mode of representation in Malachi. 
After the prophet, chap. 3 : 1-5, has announced a great purifying 
judgment upon the covenant people, he adduces v. 6, as a reason 
for it, the covenant faithfulness of the Lord, who could not suffer 
his people to go to utter ruin, as must necessarily have been the 
case without this judgment. Siill more exactly parallel, even in the 
expression, and perhaps distinctly in the view of Zechariah, is the 
passage. Is. 1 : 24, &c. : " I will take vengeance on my adversaries 
(the ungodly members of the Theocracy) and / will bring back my 
hand upon thee (the church of the Lord), and purify, as alkali (puri- 
fies), all thy dross, and take away all thy sin. — Then shalt thou be 
called a city of righteousness, a faithful city." That the expression, 
" I tvill bring back my hand upon thee," stands here in a good sense, 
of the gracious benefit which the Lord confers upon his people by 
their purification, while he seemed to have forsaken them, so long 
as he neglected this, has been so strikingly proved by Vitringa, that 
Gesenius, when without proof he takes it in a bad sense, can 
scarcely have read him. There is indeed between Zion in v. 25, 
and the enemies of God in v. 24, a manifest antithesis, precisely as 
in V. 27 and 23. . — Dn;?i'n are here the small in the figurative sense, 
the miserable, the same, who, chap. 11:7, had been called the 
most miserable sheep. That the trope is not here to be dissolved, 
that after the small we are rather to supply sheep, appears from the 
|Xi'n 'tl'^'V, the smallest of the sheep, as a designation of a miserable 
people, in .Ter. 49 : 20, 50 : 45. In Jer. 14 : 3, the synonymous 

ZECHARI AH 13:7-9. 249 

li>y stands opposed to inx, " And their nobles send the-ir little 
ones to the waters." Also Jer. 48:4-14, "iiI^'V, which the Mas- 
orites wish to change without reason into the more frequent ^^P\, 
denotes the wretchedness of their condition ; comp. also Ps. lit) : 41, 
"I am small and despised." The form in the passage before us 
occurs besides only in the name of the city Zoar. The ancient 
translators, the Greeic as well as the Chaldee, have, as we have 
already remarked, taken "I bring back my hand," in a bad sense, 
and then understand, by the small, the inferior, in contrast with the 
chief shepherd of the people. According to this entirely arbitrary 
interpretation, which has led some, in reference to the Seventy, to 
the supposition, refuted by Buxtorf, that they had before them another 
reading, Theodoret gives the sense : Kal fnioTQiifca ri]v x^Iqu fiov 
inl Tovg /^iixfiovg noifiivag, xovg ovofict notfiivtov Ixovrae, isQuxg xal 
Sidaaxrilovg, tov di ngdyfiaTog tQi^fiovg vnuQxovrag. The bringing 
back of the hand of the Lord upon the small, here promised, was 
first experienced by the apostles, and all those, who at that time 
from among the Jews, became believers in Christ, or who have be- 
come such in all succeeding centuries down to the present day. In 
another way, by the unbelieving part of the people also ; for the judg- 
ments, which the Lord inflicts upon them, are on the one side indeed 
punishments of his justice, on the other side, however, manifesta- 
tions and means of his mercy ; until at last, when all Israel is saved, 
the bringing back of his hand upon them is most illustriously mani- 
fested, and our prophecy receives its complete fulfilment. — We 
now cast a look at the New Testament citations of the passage. 
The chief place is Matt. 26: 31, 3-3, (comp. Mark 14 : 27) : To'tc 
Xiyn avzolg o Ir^aovg ' nuvxeg Vfiiig a^tavSaha&rjasa&e sv ffjol iv rrj 
vvxti rairtTj ' yeyQamat yaq ' naiu^m xov noi^iva xal diuoxogniadtjaE- 
icei Tor Ttgo^ara zrjg noi^jrjg. Mfxa Ss to f'yeQ&rjvat, fit ttqou^w Vfiag 
tig TTJv I'ahXuiav. Here the original is followed, not the Septuagint. 
The figurative mode of representation retained by these, the address 
to the sword, the Lord resolves into literal language : " 1 will 
smite." The last words, as the 8e intimates, are of a consoling 
character; an annunciation, that the Lord, after a short interruption, 
would resume his pastoral office over the apostles and the other 
believers, and therefore an individualizing of the expression in Zech- 
ariah, " I bring back my hand upon them." Hence it appears, that 
the phrase, " I bring back the hand," was taken by the Lord in a 
good sense, and that he understood by the small sheep, not shep- 
voL. ti. 32 

250 ZECHARIAH 13:7-9. 

herds, according to the misunderstanding of all Greek interpreters, 
{Aq. £7il Tovg noif^iKVccg ^Qa/fh. Sym. and Seventy, fiDtQoig. Theod. 
vionsQovg) and the Chaldee. That the special application of what 
is said in Zechariah concerning the dispersion of the flock, to the 
apostles, does not exclude its wider import and reference, we have 
already seen. — But how great stress the Lord laid on the passage, 
appears from his having before used its words when predicting what 
was to happen to his disciples, without expressly citing them, as he 
does here, because they had not rightly understood the former ref- 
erence. He says, John 16 : 32 : 'idov, i'gxETai mgrx xal vvv iXiqlv&sv, 
Xva axoQTiia&iJTE i'y.aaTog sic ra idia aixl ffiB fiovov o«jp>;t£. Allusions 
are found perhaps 10 : 13, 11 : 52 (comp. Lampe, III. p. 351), and 
Luke 12 : 32. 

V. 8. " And it comes to pass in the uihole land, saith the Lord, 
two parts in the same are extirpated and die, and the third part 
remains therein." After Jerome, Mark and others would strangely 
understand by ]'"?.5<n, '^' the whole earth." The article rather points to 
the land, with which the prophet had constantly been concerned in 
the preceding context, over whose inhabitants the shepherd of the 
Lord had undertaken the pastoral office ; comp. 7 : 5, 12 : 12. The 
true interpretation was seen by Theodoret and Cyril. — The expres- 
sion D:JK'~'i? is here, as 2 Kings 2 : 9, taken from Deut. 21 : 7. It 
signifies properly, a mouth, i. q. a mouthful, a mouth-portion of two, 
and originated in the custom of placing before those who were to be 
honored, a double, or even a larger portion of food ; comp. Gen. 
43 : 34 ; Rosenmiiller, A. u. N. Morgenl., I. p. 207. It then serves, 
Deut. I. c, in a metaphorical sense, to designate the share of the first- 
born in the inheritance, who received a double portion. In this 
metaphorical sense, 'i? for portion, part in general, the word does not 
elsewhere occur ; and there is no doubt, that Elisha, 1. c, when, as 
the first-born of Elias in a spiritual sense, he desires a double por- 
tion of his spiritual inheritance, and our prophet also, borrowed the 
expression directly from Deujleronomy. The whole Jewish people 
appears here as an inheritance, left behind by the shepherd, who has 
been slain, which is divided into three parts; of which death, assert- 
ing the right of the first-born, receives two, and life one, a division 
similar to that, which, 2 Sam. 8 : 2, was made of the Moabites by 
David. " And David smote the Moabites, and measured them with 
the measuring line, casting them down to the ground, and meas- 
ured two parts for death and one part for life." — The double por- 


ZECHARIAH 13 : 7 - 9. 25 1 

lion of the inheritance of death is then divided again among the two 
different kinds of the same. For tliat we cannot with Mark explain 
'J^14' ■■'^■?x''. by excidentur, ut exspircnt, or excidendo exspirahunt, so 
that the latter indicates only a necessary consequence of the former, 
but must rather with Vatablus and Drusius interpret, '*' Pars una 
succidetur gladio, et pars altera exspirdbit peste, aut alio genere 
mortis," is shown by the parallel passage, Ezek. 5 : 12 : "A third 
part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they 
all be consumed in the midst of thee ; and a third part shall fall by 
the sword round about thee ; and I will scatter a third part into all 
the winds; and I will draw out a sword after them." Accordingly, 
therefore, 'n"?3''. designates death by the hostile sword, and •li^lJ''. 
death by pestilence, accompanied with war and the siege, and by 
famine. This coincidence with Ezekiel, however, is not by any 
means accidental, or consisting merely in the expression. The 
prophet rather here resumes the whole prediction, Ezek. chap. 5, 
and announces a second fulfilment of it, just as we have before 
shown to have been the case in reference to a similar one of Jere- 
miah, (comp. on chap. 11 : 13.) Ezekiel had threatened the peo- 
ple, that the Lord would make a threefold division of them on 
account of their sins ; for the sword, for pestilence and for famine, 
for dispersion. This threatening had now already been fulfilled, but 
the people still suffered the consequences of this judgment, as the 
prophet here announces to them, that on account of their renewed 
apostasy the Lord would make a new threefold division, as he after- 
wards actually did by the Romans. Isaiah, some hundred years 
before, had already comprehended the contents of both prophecies in 
the remarkable picture of the fortunes of the covenant people, which 
was presented to his inward contemplation, when he was conse- 
crated to the prophetic office. He predicts, chap. 6 : 11, in the first 
place the entire desolation of the land, and the carrying away of its 
inhabitants into distant regions. This cannot possibly refer to any 
thing else than the Babylonish exile. The predictions of the prophet 
in reference to the predecessors of the Chaldeans, the Syrians, and 
Assyrians, announced from the beginning, prosperity. This part of 
the prediction is accordingly, in Ezek. chap. 5, more fully carried 
out. It is further asserted : " Again there is in the land a tenth 
part of its former inhabitants, but it shall be destroyed anew." It 
IS self-evident, that by this tenth part is not to be understood the 
few people of the lowest order, who, according to Jer. chap, 40, 

252 ZECHARIAH 13: 7-9. 

under the superintendence of Gedaliah, were left behind in the land 
by the Chaldeans. These were much too unimportant to be noticed 
in this very general sketch. We are rather obliged to refer it to the 
new destruction of the national independence of the people by the 
Romans. The phrase, " a tenth part," here accurately expresses, 
as the nature of the case required, the relation of the returned exiles 
to the former citizens of Judah. This second destruction is that 
of which Zechariah here speaks. What Isaiah moreover predicted 
of the holy seed, which should be preserved amidst the ruin of the 
whole people, and attain to prosperity, completely harmonizes with 
V, 9. — The third part. The foregoing indefinite two parts is de- 
fined by the article. For, if besides two parts, only the third part 
still remains, these two parts must be two thirds. Overlooking this, 
Winer asserts, s. v. "'5, erroneously, that d;3K/"'3, otherwise than in 
the remaining places, here designates precisely two thirds. It first 
appears by JT'ty'Sts/n, that two parts of a whole divided into three 
parts are intended. 

V. 9. " And I bring the third part into the fire, and purify them, 
as silver is purified, and prove them, as gold is proved. They will 
call upon my name and I ivill hear them. I say, They are my people ; 
and they anstver, Jehovah my God." — " To cause to go through 
the fire," is the techinal term for the purification of metals, comp. 
Num. 31:23; " I purify them," &.c., indicates, both how highly 
the Lord esteems those who are to be purified, — they are compared 
with the most precious metals, — and how difficult this purification 
is, how greatly the furnace of affliction must be heated for them. 
That the latter idea is not to be excluded, is shown by the passage 
Is. 48 : 10 ; " Behold, I have purified thee, yet not as silver, I have 
chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." While the Lord there de- 
clares, that he would be satisfied, if, by the Babylonish exile, only the 
coarsest dross of sin was separated, if among the people only the 
first beginnings of true repentance and a new life appeared ; that he 
would not purify them as silver, which, if it is to be entirely cleans- 
ed, must be melted seven times (comp. Ps. 12: 7), but before the 
purification is entirely completed, while they are still in the furnace 
of aflSiction, he will receive them again into favor; — he here de- 
clares of the second purification, directly the opposite. — The Lord 
will not be satisfied with this until he has removed all dross. Pre- 
cisely as here the verbs f]:)^ and jnn are combined, Jer. 9:6; see 
besides 6 : 30, Ps. 76 : 10, Ezek. 22 : 18, Job 23 : 10. — The 


ZECHARIAH 13 : 7 - 9. 263 

phrase T]iT\] DK*? N"3p^ has the double meaning, to call out the name 
of the Lord with emotion, to praise him, comp. 1 Chron. 16 : 8, with 
Is. 44 : 5, and in the same manner to call upojt the name of the 
Lord. In both cases the 3 is a designation of the object on which the 
emotion of him, who calls out, or who calls upon, rests; properly to 
call upon or to call out, since it is the name of the Lord, with which 
one has to do, which is not to be regarded as " mere sound and 
vapor," but as a copy and outward representation of his nature. Of 
course, therefore, the expression ni^n'' Qtyn '<"^D,, is not simply sy- 
nonymous with 'n'ip] N'lp^, or riKT. Sjs! X"^p^ The former can never, 
like the latter, refer to the ungodly, who call upon the Lord hypo- 
critically, or at least only outwardly and superficially. It stands 
therefore also Is. 64 : 6, with entire suitableness in the parallelism 
with " to take hold upon the Lord." It is mentioned in Joel 3 : 5, 
as the only condition of salvation : " Every one who calls upon the 
name of the Lord, shall be saved." " He will call upon my name, 
and I will hear him," forms an antithesis with, " And as he call- 
ed and they did not hear, so they call and I hear not, saith the 
Lord." Chap. 7 : 13. In the last words the preter Ti^nx is inten- 
tionally joined with the fut. "'J^X', (properly, as Riickert, " I have 
spoken, My people is he ; and he says, Jehovah, my God,") to in- 
dicate that, the speaking of the Lord must necessarily precede that 
of the people ; precisely as, according to chap. 12 : 10, the people 
first offer up prayer to the Lord, and are seized with deep distress 
for their sins, after the Lord has poured out upon them the spirit of 
grace. The two modes accordingly signify a relative past and 
future, just as, Is. chap. 53, the suffering of the servant of God is 
expressed mostly by praeters, the glorification by futures, although in 
reality both were still future. Parallel, even in respect to this inter- 
change of prcet. and fut., is Hos. 2 : 25, " And I say to them, who 
are not my people, My people thou ; and they will say, My God." 

254 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

Chap. 14. 

A new scene presents itself to the prophet. All people of the 
earth are assembled by the Lord against his holy city ; this is taken ; 
the greatest part of its inhabitants are cut off by the sword, or car- 
ried away into captivity, v. 1, 2. Then, however, the Lord inter- 
feres for his people, hitherto preserved uninjured, by his wonderful 
providence, and the judgment is suddenly directed from the church 
of the Lord to her enemies. The Lord appears in majesty upon 
the Mount of Olives, and while an earthquake announces his com- 
ing to judgment, and fills all with terror, the mountain divides in 
the midst, so that henceforth the people of the Lord find a safe and 
easy way of flight through the lengthened valley of Jehoshaphat. 
Then the Lord appears, with all his saints, to establish his kingdom 
on the earth, v. 3-5. At first, thick darkness reigns; then follows, 
for a short time, a mixture of light and darkness, a twilight ; and 
lastly, when least expected, breaks the full day of salvation for the 
elect, V. 6, 7. Then a stream of living water pours itself forth from 
Jerusalem through the whole land, communicating life and fruitful- 
ness, V. 8. The Theocracy, hitherto confined to one single land, now 
embraces the whole earth, v. 9. In order that Jerusalem alone may 
be exalted, all hills in the whole land are levelled, the city rises in 
splendor from its ruins, henceforth secure from every change, to 
enjoy the divine favor, v. 10, 11. After the enemies, who have be- 
besieged Jerusalem, have been chastised by a divine judgment, v. 
12- 15, the remnant of them will turn to the Lord, and annually 
come to Jerusalem, there to celebrate the feast of tabernacles, v. 16. 
A heavy punishment will overtake those who neglect this duty, v. 
17 - 19. The distinction between the profane and sacred will then 
entirely cease, and also the mingling of the pious and ungodly, as it 
existed in the former Theocracy, v. 20, 21. 

The interpreters mostly suppose this prophecy to be only a re- 
sumption and farther extension of that contained in chap. 12; comp. 
e. g. Michaelis on the passage, Hitzig, 1. c. p. 40. But, for this 
opinion, there is in the first place no ground whatever. The proph- 
ecy receives an entirely new addition ; of a connexion with chap. 12, 
and a reference to it, there is no trace. Both prophecies give a cycle 
of events independent of one another, in which what follows is al- 
ways connected with what precedes, by the constantly recurring in 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 255 

this day. On the contrary, there are not wanting grounds for the 
opposite assumption, that the two prophecies refer to different events 
and times. In chap. 12, Jerusalem appears indeed as closely be- 
sieged, but not as taken ; fro-m the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the 
princes of Judah, acccording to v. 5, expect deliverance. From 
them, according to v. 6, 7, the enemy is vanquished without the city, 
and before he could take it. Here, on the contrary, the help of the 
Lord does not come until the city has been taken, and the greatest 
part of the inhabitants carried away into captivity. According to 
chap. 14 : 14, Judah fights in Jerusalem. According to chap. 12:7, 
he gains the victory without the city, which is thus delivered. Of 
such splendid promises for the people of the Lord after the overthrow 
of their enemies, as we here find, there is in chap. 12 no trace ; all 
continues in the usual track. The result, thus obtained by internal 
evidence, is confirmed also by a comparison of the Apocalypse. 
There, a twofold great oppression of the church of God in the last 
times is plainly described. The first, chap. 19:19-21. Then 
follows the so-called reign of a thousand years, a condition of the 
church better than the preceding, but still without a removal of the 
existing earthly relations. To this period chap. 12 refers. The 
second, chap. 20 : 8, 9. Templed by Satan, the heathen nations 
from all the four ends of the earth, once more surround the camp 
of the saints and the beloved city. That this prophecy, as well as 
that of Ezekiel, chap. 37 and 38, is thus parallel with the one before 
us, and of course that it, and not that of chap. 12, must be compared 
with that of Ezekiel, appears from the fact, that here, altogether the 
same results of the victory granted by the Lord are mentioned, as 
there. According to Zechariah, in like manner as Ezekiel and the 
Apocalypse, Jerusalem is gloriously rebuilt immediately after, the 
Lord establishes in her his dwelling-place, there will be no more 
exile, a stream of living water goes forth from her, all the ungodly 
are excluded, &c. 

V. 1. " Behold a day comes to the Lord, and. thy booty is divided 
in the midst of thee." The phrase ni^n^S ^<|"Dr is not to be explain- 
ed, " the day of the Lord comes," (Riickert, " Behold the day of 
Jehovah comes,") for the h can stand instead of stat. constr. only 
when this cannot be used, therefore only when an indefinite thing is 

266 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

to be designated ; while the second noun, however, as here Jehovah, 
is definite, comp. Ewald, p. 582, 603 ; therefore, not " a day of the 
Lord," for then we cannot see why DV should not be joined with 
^)^!'2 ; rather, " a day comes to the Lord," so that n\n;S belongs to 
X3. The designated day, however, comes to the Lord, not only in 
so far as he introduces it, but also and chiefly, in so far as he is 
glorified in it. AH other days have come rather to men, this alone 
is proper to the Lord. Thus it is said, Ezek. 39 : 13, of the day of 
the overthrow of Gog, 'l^^H Di\ " the day of my being honored, 
saith the Lord." Thus, according to Is. 2 : 12, the day of the Lord 
comes upon all that is high and exalted, and, according to v. 17, the 
Lord alone is exalted in that day. — As a day of the Lord is almost 
always spoken of in reference to the judgments to be executed by 
him, the question arises whether these judgments, which serve to 
glorify the Lord, here overtake merely the heathen nations, or 
whether the sufferings of the church of God here described, are to 
be considered as chastisements ; whether we are therefore to assume, 
that after the great outpouring of the Spirit and regeneration, de- 
scribed chap. 12 : 10, 13 : 6, a predominance of the tares among 
the wheat, a mingling of true believers and of hypocrites in the 
church of God, is again to be expected, so that here the last glorify- 
ing of the church of God is described, the last verifying of the prov- 
erb, that judgment must begin at the house of God. This latter 
supposition is indisputably correct. It receives confirmation particu- 
larly from V. 2. The prophet shows already by the expression, that 
those who are carried away into captivity, are not to be regarded as 
suffering innocently, that those who are outwardly cut off are rather 
also spiritually cut off, and those who are outwardly retained, as 
also inwardly quickened. — Thy spoil. The prophet addresses 
Jerusalem, the seat of the kingdom of God at his time, under whose 
image this kingdom presented itself to his inward vision, exactly as 
in the Apocalypse. How little we are here to adhere to the letter, 
is evident from the figurative character of the whole description, 
which no one can deny ; especially the impossibility that all nations 
of the whole earth should be collected against the outward Jerusa- 
lem to battle, and, after being vanquished, should annually go up 
there, in order to celebrate the feast of tabernacles, &c. — In thy 
midst. Strengthening this, Jerome says, " Solet frequenter acci- 
dere, nt qua subito impetu in civitate dircpta sunt,foris in agro, aut 
in solitudine dividantur, ne forte hastes superveniant ; his autem tan- 

ZECHARIAH Chah. 14. 257 

turn vialorum pundus incumbet, ut, quce direpta sunt, in civitatis 
7iicdio dividantur pro securitate victoriae." The strange quid pro 
(/wo of the Chaldee, " divident Jilii Israel opes populorum in medio 
till Jerusolem," sufficiently shows itself as such by the comparison 
of V. 2. The opinion of Mark, who, after several others, particu- 
larly the fathers (Theod., Cyril, Euseb. Demonstr. 6. 18, Jerome), 
here finds the description of the captivity by the Romans, is already 
sufficiently refuted by the fact, that it requires the prophet, in v. 3, 
to make a sudden transition from the literal to the spiritual Zion. 

V. 2. " And I collect all the heathen against Jerusalem to battle, 
and the city is taken, and the houses plundered, and the toomen dis- 
honored, and the half of the city go forth as captives, and the rem- 
nant of the people is not cut off from the city." We will not here 
engage in doctrinal inquiries, how it can be reconciled that the same 
effect, the collection of the heathen against Jerusalem, which is here 
attributed to God, is, in the Apocalypse 20 : 8, attributed to Satan, a 
phenomenon which is known to be often met with in the Scriptures 
If, however, God must employ the evil as a means of realizing his 
purpose concerning the world ; if Satan, who appears in Job in poetic 
representation among the angels of God, is, though against his own 
will, his servant, as Ashur is called the rod of anger in his hand, 
Nebuchadnezzar, his servant ; if, without the will of God, he cannot 
hurt a single hair of the church of God, the constant aim of his 
assaults (comp. chap. 3); it easily appears that the contradiction is 
only apparent, and such as daily occurs, without any one thinking 
it necessary to deny the one or the other side of the antithesis. — 
The J^ord collects the nations to the judgment in the first instance 
upon Jerusalem and then upon themselves. Parallel is Ezek. 39 : 2, 
" The Lord brings Gog out of the extreme north, and conducts him 
to the mountains of Israel, there to destroy him." Sx does not 
stand as Rosenmiiller asserts, for hy, but it designates merely the 
direction according to which the heathen were collected. The hos- 
tile purpose is first expressed by the following " to war." The phrase, 
" The houses are plundered, and the women dishonored," is taken 
from Is. 13 : 16, nj^:t5fn DH'K'Pi QD'ii^a -idk;:. — The following mem- 
ber is translated by most interpreters, " And the half of the city shall 
go forth into captivity." And we here avail ourselves of an opportu- 
nity to correct a very ancient error of commentators and lexicograph- 
ers, (comp. even Ewald, p. 315.) It is altogether a mistake, that 
nSiJ, a word which it is remarkable never occurs in the Pentateuch, 

VOL. II. 33 

258 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

although the thing signified is there so often spoken of, and except in 
Amos 1 : 15, only in the writings composed during the exile, ever 
signifies captivity. Even the form, the pnrtic. femin., should have 
made critics distrustful of this opinion. For the participial form can 
never constitute abstract nouns ; comp. Ewald, p. 236, 237. The 
standing phrase nSl J 5 Xl.*^ should have been another ground of sus- 
picion; comp., besides this passage, Amos I : 15, Jer. 48 : 7, 11. For, 
although 3 often stands with verbs of motion, when the thing moved 
remains in the place or in the condition, yet there is no instance in 
which this connexion is so regular and uniform. The following is 
the correct view. nSljrj, the captive, relates to the personification of 
the people carried away into captivity, as of a woman, as we see, e. g., 
the figure thoroughly carried out in Is. 47. It is a continuation of 
this trope, when, in the Book of Ezra, in numerous places, the pos- 
terity of those who have been carried away are designated as "sons 
of the captive.'- For that we are not, as is commonly done, to trans- 
late, " sons of the captivity," appears from Ezra 8:35: "Those 
who had come out of the captivity, the sons of the captive, present a 
burnt offering to God." If we there translate, "the sons of the cap- 
tivity," an empty tautology arises ; comp. also 2:1: " These are 
the sons of the city, who returned out of the captive, which Nebu- 
chadnezzar had carried away." Of all the passages which Winer 
and Gesenius (Thes. s. v.) cite, for the meaning captivity, the only 
plausible one is 1 Chron. 5 : 22. But, even there, nSijn -\\\ since 
the interpretation usque ad exilium is so groundless, can be very 
well translated " to the captive." Accordingly, therefore, nSijg in 
this passage signifies in captiva, " being in their condition as cap- 
tives." — " T/je captive," with the article, on account of the antithesis 
with that part of the people, who had remained behind in the city, 
mentioned in what follows. — " And the remnant of the people iinll 
not he exterminated from the city.'' There is here a plain contrast 
with the former judgment upon Jerusalem, executed by the Baby- 
lonians. The advantage enjoyed by those who remained behind, 
at the first deportation, over those who were carried away, was only 
apparent ; it was only a reprieve : it was here to be real and last- 
ing. The prophet alludes to the similar passages even in the ex- 
pression (comp. Jer. 29 : 16), " For thus saith the Lord to the king, 
who sits on the throne of David, and to the whole people who dwell 
in this city, your brethren, nSiJ3 D^j-^x 5Nv; xS i:t'N;, behold,! send 
upon them the sword, and the famine, and the pestilence, and 

ZKCHARIAH Chap. 14. 259 

scatter them in all the kingdoms of the earth." 2 Kings 25 : 11 : 
"i^i'^ 0''?^?5i'in Dj^n '^r)\ nxi, " were carried into captivity by Nebu- 
chadnezzar." The expression, " He will not be exterminated from 
the city," is chosen in reference to the forms continually occur- 
ring in the Pentateuch bN-jtV'D N^nn J^g^n nnip.Ji, or ^Nlt^': r\nx?D, 
or VT^^'r?, nt)3Ji. The carrying away of the half into captivity was 
at the same time a cutting of them off from the city, from the The- 
ocracy, because this carrying away overtook them as a deserved 
divine judgment.* The portion of the people who remained true to 
the Lord were saved from this judgment. That, apart from this 
reference, the phrase, " He is cut ojf' from the city," is not to be ex- 
plained, with Winer, by ex whe patria ejectus, in exilium actus est, 
is self-evident. As parallel in sense we have yet to compare Isaiah 
4:3: " Every one who shall be left behind in Zion and remain in 
Jerusalem, he shall be called holy, every one who is enrolled for life 
in Jerusalem." Here, also, to be spared during the judgment of 
God, and to be a true member of his kingdom, are interchangeable 

V. 3. The purification of the church of God is now completed, 
and the Lord, following the course of his love towards her, can grant 
her deliverance and prosperity. — " And the Lord goes forth, and, 
fights against those heathen, as in his day of confict, in the day of 
battle." KV; is a military technical term, comp. Is. 42 : 13 ; " The 
Lord will go forth as a hero, as a man of war, awaken zeal." Hab. 
3 : 13, " Thou goest forth for the salvation of thy people." More as 
a general contrast to the rest, in which the Lord seems to indulge, 
so long as he delivers up his church a prey to her oppressors, Ni" 
occurs in the passage, — very explanatory of the relation of the 
verse before us to the preceding, — Is. 26 : 20, 21 : " Up, my peo- 
ple, go into thy closets, shut thy doors after thee. Wait but a little, 
until my anger. is overpast. For behold, the Lord goeth out from 
his place to punish the wickedness of the inhabitants of the earth 

* The extirpation from the Theocracy, threatened against the transgressors 
of the law, is by no means to be limited to the punishment of death ; comp., on 
the contrary, Ezr. 7 : 2G, 10 : 8 ; but, which the general expression implies, 
referred to every thing, whereby God, according to the different degrees of their 
guilt, either immediately, or through the instrumentality of the magistracy 
established by him, expels his disobedient subjects from his kingdom. The cor- 
rectness of this remark will be confirmed by an independent examination of 
tiie subject. 

260 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

against him." DnS: with 5 of a person, always "to strive against 
any one"; see on v. 14. The translation of the Seventy, Kal t^sXfv- 
asTui, KVQiog yal nctnaiuiiTui iv xoig E&rsaiv ixitvoig, has served to 
strengthen Theodoret and Cyril in their mistaken reference of the 
prophecy to the destruction by the Romans. The former remarks : 
nagaxa^tini dt, ovy. 'lovdaiai' VTtiQfxaxoiv, alia xar ixei'ioiv axQaxriywv. 
The phrase, " as in the day of his combat," &c., is explained by 
most interpreters, " as he is wont to combat," and referred to all the 
combats, which the Lord engaged in for his people ; comp. e. g. Jos. 
10 : 10, Judges 4 : 15, 20, 1 Sam. 7: 10. Others, on the contrary, 
assume a special reference to the combat of the Lord against the 
Egyptians. So, after the example of the Chaldee, Jerome : " Nunc 
egrediiur et pi-ccliatur, sicut in die certaminis, quando Pharaonem 
in mart submersit rubro, ef pro Israclitico populo dimicavit." This 
latter reference is plainly to be preferred. For we are led to one 
particular event by the expression, " as in his day of combat " ; the 
suf. refers to the compound idea. The judgment of the Lord upon 
the Egyptians is expressly called a combat, a fight, Exod. 14 :14, 
15 : 3 sq. And the deliverance from Egypt so far surpasses all 
later ones, that it is considered as the deliverance, f^oxn^, and 
those of a later period, in order to designate their greatness, are com- 
pared with it, without distinguishing them by a more particular de- 
scription from the rest; comp. especially Is. 11 : 11 ; " Then will 
the Lord stretch out his hand a second time," &.c. Among the 
weapons with which the Lord contends, only the earthquake, and 
corruption inflicted upon his enemies, are here mentioned ; Ezekiel 
is more full in the description of them. 

V. 4. " A7id his feet stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, 
which lies before Jerusalem, eastward, and the Mount of Olives is 
split in the midst, from east to west, a very great valley, and a half 
of the mountain gives way towards the north, and a half towards the 
south." The question arises, why the Lord appears here as stand- 
ing precisely on the Mount of Olives. The answer is furnished by the 
subjoined, " which lies before Jerusalem eastward." For these words, 
as a mere geographical notice for the contemporaries of the prophet, 
who had the Mount of Olives always in view, would have been en- 
tirely superfluous ; they could designate the position of the mountain 
only for the purpose of intimating that this gave the Lord occasion to 
select it for his station. The Mount of Olives lay before and above 
Jerusalem, it afforded the best position for overlooking the city, from 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 261 

It therefore the Lord orders the battle against his enemies found in 
it, and adopts his measures for the deliverance of his people ; from 
there particularly, he, before whom thfe mountains flow down, makes 
for them a way of escape, that they may not be judged with the 
ungodly heathen. Entirely unmeaning, therefore, is the remark of 
Burk : " Textus montem sic prcucise et determinate dtscrihit, ut lie 
ad allegoriam dilahalur intcrpres." That the cleaving of the 
mountain is to be regarded as the effect of an earthquake, seems to 
be implied in v. 5. The earthquake is also mentioned, Is. 29 : 6, 
among the punishments which the Lord inflicts on the enemies of 
Zion : " By the Lord shalt thou be visited with thunder and earth- 
quake (t^^l), and a loud voice, with storm and wind, and with the 
flame of a consuming fire." The passage, however, which the 
prophet seems to have distinctly in view, is that of Ezek. 38: 19, 20, 
" In that day there will be a great earthquake over the land of Israel. 
And before me quaked the fish of the sea, and the fowls of heaven, 
and the beasts of the field, and every multitude that throngs the earth, 
and all men, which are on the earth ; and the mountains will be 
destroyed and the hills fall, and every wall will fall to the earth." This 
earthquake, threatening destruction to the enemies, is a signal for 
flight to the believers. For they fear to be consumed by the divine 
judgment with the heathen, in the midst of whom they are placed ; 
as the prophet admonishes the exiles still in Babylon to flee in haste, 
that they may not be likewise smitten by the judgments which 
threaten her; comp. 2 : 10 : " Ha ! ha, escape from the north coun- 
try;" V. 11 : " Ha, Zion deliver thyself, thou inhabitant of the city 
of Babel." And, as Jeremiah had already done before him, chap. 
51 : 6 : " Flee out of Babel and deliver each one his soul, that ye 
be not destroyed each one for his misdeeds, for it is the time of ven- 
geance for the Lord, he renders to her the reward." — While the 
believers therefore are desiring flight, the Lord opens for them the 
way by the same earthquake that brings destruction to the enemy. 
Whoever, as in the present instance, where there was a real dan- 
ger in delay, wished to escape by speedy flight from Jerusalem, met 
with no inconsiderable hindrance in the Mount of Olives, bordering 
on the valley of Jehoshaphat, which David in his flight had to ascend, 
(comp. 2 Sam. 15 : 30.) This was removed when the Lord divided 
the mountain ; the flying multitude of believers rushed through the 
lengthened valley of Jehoshaphat, and now, when they were beyond 
the reach of the divine judgments, these fell with unrestrained vio- 

262 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

lence upon the enemies of God, as formerly upon Sodom, wlien Lot 
had reached Zoar. Tliat the vvho-le representation is figurative, that 
the main thought, the deliverance of the believers, and the destruc- 
tion of the enemies, is merely clothed in imagery taken from the local 
relations of Jerusalem, is so obvious, that whoever does not see it 
without farther proof, is hardly capable of being convinced. In refer- 
ence to the manner of the division of the mountain, considerable errors 
are found in several interpreters, particularly Theodoret and Cyril, 
who are led astray by the false translation of the Seventy, and Jerome, 
whose wards RosenmiiUer gives without further comment, and of 
course without remarking, that they darken instead of illuminating 
the text. They falsely assume a fourfoJd division. Theodoret : eItk 
Xsysi, OTC diuLQS&TjdEiai Ttrgaxoc to oqos, wg to fisv x«t uvctioloig, to ds 
xaicc 5vaiJ.ceg, to ds ncna §0Qquv, to 8k xaia voxov ^^uiQrjaai. But it is 
only one simple division of the mountain, which is spoken of, in 
which, in much the same manner as formerly, when the Jordan was 
divided, the one half goes towards the north, the other towards the 
south, and so from west to east, from Jerusalem towards the Jordan, 
a great valley is formed. VVDQ is rightly explained by Mark : 
" Won ah hoc, aut illo latere, aut parte exirema tantuin, neque in 
plures partes, quam dims, sed mcdius in duas fere ccquales.^' " To- 
wards the east and towards the west," does not indeed point out the 
direction in which the two halves draw back, but the direction of 
the opening ; the mountain was not cleaved in its length, but 
breadth. An occasion for this mistake has been given by not ob- 
serving the |D in VVp^- Lastly, we are still informed whither the 
two halves recede, not indeed toward the west, for then the miracle 
would not have availed believers, but towards the north and south. 
^<U, instead of the more usual X'J, (comp. Ewald, p. 453,) is regarded 
by most interpreters as accus. to " a valley," but it can well be taken 
as nominat. in opposition to the noun implied in what precedes, rent, 

V. 5. " And ye flee into my mountain valley ; for it tvill reach to 
Azal, as ye fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah the 
king ofJudah, and there comes the Lord my God, all holy ones toith 
thee." "'!iri"N\; 0^*0^, not, with Mark, per vallem, but ad vallem. '2, 
which appears to confirm the former interpretation, is explained ac- 
cording to the second, which alone can be grammatically justified by 
the circumstance, that no one in the flight would think of the valley 
of .Tehoshaphat, so long as it was enclosed by mountains. The 

ZECHAKIAU Chap. 14. ' 263 

lengthening of the valley gives accordingly the reason for fleeing 
into it. — The mountain valley of the Lord, the valley of Jehosha- 
phat, (comp. p. G5 sq.), not merely the valley between the two halves 
of the Monnt of Olives, which here comes under consideration only 
as a lengthening of the valley of Jehoshaphat. We shall not dwell 
on the false punctuation orip]!, instead of DHDJi., which is found in 
several manuscripts, and from which the translation of the Chaldee, 
et obturahitur, and that of the Seventy, and of Symm., nul f^cpQax' 
S^i^asToti. tpuQay'i ogswv ^ov, originated. It gives no intelligible sense, 
and affords no explanation of the following '3. — " Fui- the mountain 
valley will reach to Azal." bi'X is here taken by the older interpre- 
ters as a proper name, with the exception of Symmachus and Jer- 
ome, who render it by prozinms. Cyril remarks: Km^tj di uvir] ngog 
f'axoiTialg, ag loyog tov oqovq x£iij,svj]. Nearly all interpreters, how- 
ever, who understand b:^X also as a proper name, have seen that it 
must not here be taken as a naked geographical designation, but 
with reference to its appellative import, as is manifest from the whole 
nature of the description. In the determination of this meaning, 
however, they differ widely from each other. This would not be the 
case, if the passage Mic. 1:11 had been more attentively consid- 
ered. In a description, where several proper names are placed, with 
constant allusion to their appellative meaning, the prophet, while de- 
scribing how the divine judgment constantly advances from city to 
city, until it has reached Jerusalem, says : " The lamentation of 
Beth Haezel will deprive you of its standing still (will not continue 
to you the ceasing of the lamentation, as might be expected from the 
etymology of the naQie of the city). For also (the more distant) 
Marotli shall experience pain. For evil comes down from the Lord 
upon Jerusalem." According to this passage, Beth Haezel must be 
a city not far from Jerusalem, and signify the house of standing still, 
a meaning easily derived from the usual one of the verb S^N, to lay 
by the side, while that assumi:d by Gesenius, Thes. s. v. no, domus 
radicis jirmcB, has nothing iji its favor in the Hebrew idiom, since 
even Vi*N, nobilis, is not to be explained with him, radicatus, but, as a 
comparison of the proper name Azaliah shows, by sepositus. If now 
we look at the form of the proper name in the passage, it is evident 
that Sifi$, in pausa S^X, can signify only standing still, ceasing; comp. 
Ewald, p. 231. The valley therefore shall reach to a place, which 
actually affords to the fugitives, what its name promises, the cessa- 
tion of the danger, because when they have attained it, they are 

264 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

beyond the reach of the divine judgments. Whether this place is 
the same as that mentioned by Micah, can neither be denied, since 
the Beth in proper names is frequently omitted (comp. Gesenius, 
Thes. p. 193,) and similar variations in their form, as Ezel and 
Azal, elsewhere often occur ; nor with certainty affirmed, because 
the situation of the place in both passages is left indefinite, only that, 
according to Zechariah, it must have been eastward of Jerusalem 
beyond the Mount of Olives. — ''And ye flee," viz., from fear of being 
swallowed up with the enemies of God by the earth, which opens 
during the earthquake ; comp. Num. 16 : 34: "And all Israel round 
about them fled, for they said, lest the earth swallow us up." — The 
earthquake in the time of King Uzziah is not mentioned in the his- 
torical books, but only Amos 1 : 1. The way in which he speaks of 
it, in the days, as well as the subjoined, of the kings of Judah, to 
prevent any one from regarding Uzziah as a king of Israel, shows 
that the prophet lived at a time far distant from the event compared. 
True, Hitzig supposes, 1. c, that all can be fully explained from the 
diffuse style of the writer, but he has not been able to bring forward 
a single example in point. — " And there comes the Lord my God, 
all holy ones toith thee." The prophet here speaks of another com- 
ing of the Lord, than that described in v. 3, for the judgment of his 
enemies. After the Lord has delivered his people, he comes in 
order to dwell with them on the glorified earth. The prophet is so 
ravished with this delightful prospect, that for a time he entirely 
loses sight of the enemies, and afterwards resumes his description of 
their punishment. My God is explained by the circumstance that 
the prophet, while he sees the Lord draw near in the most glorious 
manifestation of his grace, is seized with lively joy, because this God 
is his God. The suf. in ^^;^ is not, with several Jewish interpre- 
ters and Drusius, to be referred to Jerusalem, for this simple reason, 
besides several others, because then it would be fern., but to the 
Lord, to whom the prophet, beholding him in inward vision as 
already present, no longer satisfied to speak of him in the third per- 
son, directs his address with triumphant emotions and exulting rap- 
ture, that the long Absent and Desired has at length arrived. — By 
D'tj/np. many interpreters understand the angels ; others, as Mark, 
the saints, the church of God on earth ; others, as Vitringa on Apoc. 
15 : 3, both, sancti tarn angeli, quam homines. The decision is diffi- 
cult; the first interpretation is favored by, "He comes with ten 
thousand of saints," the angels, Deut. 33 : 2, and still more by, " All 

ZECHAEIAH Chap 14. 265 

liis saints are in thy hand," (v. 3,) " they stand prepared for thy ser- 
vice, serve thy prosperity, O Israel ;" and also Matt. 25: 31 : orav 
ds el&ij 6 vlog rov (xr&^conov tv rjj do^ij aviov, xcet ndvtig oi nyytloi {xsi 
avtov. Mark 8 : 38 : orav il&ij iv t/J 5o|/; ^ov nuTgog amov /jsxa rtor 
ayyiXoiv jojv ocyiuv. Apoc. 19 : 14. 

V. 6. " And it comes to pass in that day, it icill be not light, that 
which is precious will become meanJ' The prophet here describes the 
transition from the deepest darkness which attends the judgment 
upon the enemies of the divine kingdom and the birth of the new 
world, to the most splendid light, which irradiates the new-formed 
world ; first, entire darkness, in the verse before us, then a mixture 
of light and darkness, and lastly, pure light, v. 7, analogous to the 
first creation, where at first darkness covered the chaos, then, by the 
matter of light created on the first day, a twilight arose, until, after 
the matter of light was concentrated in the heavenly bodies created 
on the third day, the brightness became perfect. — In the second 
member there is a diversity of readings. The Kethib is to be pointed 
I'lxap^ as ihefut. of 5<3p^; the marginal reading is ji'^Spl. As to the 
latter, it is by most interpreters after the Seventy, {nut i/jv^og x«2 nd- 
yog,) explained by cold and frost ; " there will be no light, (but there 
will be) cold and frost." They take either r\i"ip'; as synonymous with 
nnp^, frigora, appealing to the fact, that Prov. 17 : 27 has, for 
nn ip_i of the text, the marginal reading nn '-\r>2. in the same sense; 
or they assert that instead of ri'i'ip/. must be read mipj.. But this 
whole interpretation has every thing against it, and it is therefore 
extremely wonderful, how it could have gained the approbation of by 
far the greater part of interpreters. That a word of such frequent 
occurrence as ip^^ should here stand, for once, in an entirely new 
meaning is highly improbable ; the marginal reading Prov. 17 : 27, 
as a proof, is nothing more nor less, than a Jewish conjecture a la 
Houbigant, as is indeed the case with most of the marginal readings; 
the mutation of ^^"^^i^. into i^'^'^P). must be regarded as arbitrary, so 
long as an entire impossibility of explaining the reading of the text 
cannot be shown ; the alleged noun ]^^^\> nowhere occurs, and, even 
assuming its existence, the meaning, for which the language has 
other words, would still not be established ; the construction, the 
supplying of T\:r\\, without the negation, is hard. But what is of 
chief importance, nothing is said o^ cold znA frost in all the parallel 
passages of the prophet. They are by no means suitable in this 
description, in which the discourse throughout is only of light and 

VOL. II. 34 

266 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14 

darkness (comp. v. 7,) so that the second member also, like the first, 
must contain a description of darkness. And what external au- 
thority then has this interpretation, which is liable to such numerous 
difficulties, in its favor 1 As good as none-; for as the marginal 
reading very frequently, indeed almost uniformly, even where at first 
view it commends itself, has arisen from mere conjecture ; as the ob- 
scurity of the passage, as is shown by the favor which interpreters 
have given to the marginal reading, must have been a temptation to 
such a conjecture ; as the difference of the gender between the noun 
and the verb in the text seemed to be a justification of it, how can 
the marginal reading here be entitled to any further importance, than 
that of a Jewish conjecture, whose first origin is perhaps to be sought 
in the version of the Seventy, who endeavoured to guess what they 
could not understand 1 Let us now turn to the different explanations 
of the text. Ch. B. Michaelis explains, " Claritates cnim, si quce per 
vices existent, condensabuntur, atqiie in spissas mox tenebras trans- 
ibunt." This interpretation is to be rejected, if it were only on the 
ground, that it takes nnp^''. in a sense entirely unauthorized. ip^\ 
never signifies any thing else than precious, glorious, never shining, 
as has been erroneously inferred from Job 31 : 26, much less clari- 
tates. ^^^v^^., therefore, can signify nothing but costly things. Far 
better grounded is the interpretation of the acute De Dieu, Crit. 
Sacr. p. 305 : " Non erit lux ; pretiosa concrescent. Pretiosa vocat 
codum, solem, lunam, cceteras Stellas, direm, tcrram, aquam, quce 
vere sunt pretiosissima muncli. Heec concrescent in consvrmnatione 
sectdi, quum aroix^la y.avaovfxtva Xv&'^aovTai, et ovgccvol nvgovfisvot. 
Xv&'^aovTceh (2 Pet. 3 : 10, 12 ;) ilia soluta inter se coibunt et veluti in 
massam unam coalescent. — Hinc sequitur, lucem nullam fore, quia, 
qu(B lucem prcebent, aliis erunt involuta." This interpretation is 
nevertheless liable to the objection, that the thought which it attri- 
butes to the passage is foreign to the Old Testament parallel passages, 
which are so important, particularly of Zechariah. They speak, 
when they either, like Zechariah, describe the last great judgment, 
or when, in the description of inferior judgments, they borrow their 
images from that, always of the darkening of the sun, moon, and 
stars, never of a darkness, which would arise from the conversion of 
all created things into a new chaos. And this thought is with them 
so uniform, so predominant, that we must have greatly wondered, if 
we had not found it here. Comp. Joel 2 : 10: " Before him the earth 
trembles, the heavens quake, the sun and the moon mourn, the stars 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 267 

withdraw their splendor." In like manner 4:4, 3 : 4, " The sun 
will be changed into darkness and the moon to blood." Ezek. 32 : 
7: "And I cover the heavens, and make the stars to mourn, I will 
conceal the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give her light." 
V. 8 : " All the lights in heaven will I cause to mourn for thee, and I 
give darkness over thy land." Is. 13 : 10 : " For the stars of heav- 
en and their constellations will not give their light. The sun is dark 
in^ts going forth, and the moon causes its brightness not to shine." 
Amos 8 : 19. — In accordance with these passages, we understand 
by rinp'., precious things, as a designation of the luminous bodies of 
heaven, and with the more reason, since Job 1. c. the moon is de- 
signated as precious, as walking magnificently, i|Sn "ip;, and translate, 
" costly things become vile, the heavenly bodies will lose their most 
beautiful ornament, the light." The ground meaning of the verb N3p 
is that of contraction. Hence arises, first, that of coagulation, sec- 
ondly, that of diminution or deterioration. In the Arab. tVi , con- 

tracta, corrugata fuit res. In the Talmud X3p (comp. Buxtorf, c. 
''2i)d4:.),allevare, leva reddere, 'i^p^, Icve, vile, vilis pretii, in the gloss 
of the Talmud explained by Sp. In the sense of contraction, dimi- 
nution, the verb also occurs Exod. 15 : 8. By the explanation, which 
has been given, the difficulty also of the apparent disagreement in 
gender is removed. It is a simple Constructio ad sensum, as sun, 
moon, and stars are masculine. There is therefore no occasion to 
appeal to the extremely few instances where, as Is. 49 : 11, an enal- 
lage of gender occurs, for which no reason can be given. 

V, 7. ^^ And it loill be : one day, it will be known to the Lord, neither 
day, nor night, and at the time of even it will become light." That 
the first words must be thus construed, appears from the way in 
which n^ni is used in the first and second member, and in general 
throughout this whole prophecy ; so that we cannot with most inter- 
preters translate precisely, erit dies unus, but must rather supply 
n;n'' after Dr or, more correctly, deduce it from n^^ni. irjN one, here 
according to most interpreters, signifies singular, excellent. So Ch. 
B. Michaelis; " Prorsus singularis, et qui parem vix habiturus est, 
idque rationc ingruentis turn caliginis et calamitatis, turn lucis et 
auxilii divini." But this meaning is here as little suitable, as it is 
in general proved to be. It is found indeed in the Arabic, but not 
in the Hebrew idiom, for the only passage, which is here cited in 
favor of it, Ezek. 7 : 5, is to be translated, " Behold a wicked evil 

268 2ECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

comes." The correct view was seen by Cocceius ; " Unus dies, 
tempus non longum."" As a designation of the comparatively short- 
est portion of time, we meet with one day already, chap. 3, 9 ; and, 
as a designation of a comparatively short period, one month, chap. 
11 : 8. The times, in relation to which that of the mingling of 
darkness and light is designated as very short, are those of the per- 
fect darkness and perfect light. The phrase " it will be known," 
or " it is known," does not relate like similar expressions, Matt. 24 : 
86, Mark 13 : 32, only to the time of the appearing of this day, but 
rather chiefly to its nature. Correctly Burk ; " Solus dominus plene^ 
planeque sciet, qua ejus did sit ratio." The phrase " not day and 
not night," Mark explains better than he is aware of, since he hesi- 
tates between this and several other untenable interpretations ; " t/if 
ob mixturom quandam lucis diei ct tencbruruin noctis, nee illius, ncc 
hujus noinen conveniat isti temjjori, scd sit instar diluculi aut crepus- 
culi cujusdam.'" The phrase, " in the evening it will become light," 
is explained by the antithesis Amos 8:9: " And in that day, saitli 
the Lord, I cause the sun to go down at mid-day, and bring dark- 
ness over the earth in the day of light." As it becomes dark there, 
where the clearest light was possessed and expected, so it here be- 
comes light at the time when only darkness is expected, where a day 
of mixed darkness and light comes to an end, and now, accordmg to 
the natural course of things, the entirely dark night appears to suc- 

V. 8. " And it happens in that day, living tvatcrs will go forth from 
Jerusalem, their half to the east sea, and their half to the west sea, in 
the summer and in the pointer will it be." The east and west sea, the 
Dead and the Mediterranean, stand here only as the termini ad quern 
of the course of the living waters, otherwise than in Ezekiel chap. 
47, where the sea is improved by these waters. By the choice of 
this terminus, the prophet indicates that the water v.ould pass through 
the whole promised land, which was bounded on the east by the 
Dead, and on the west by the Mediterranean Sea. To what pur- 
pose, is shown by the parallel passage Joel 4: 18; "And it shall 
come to pass at that time that the mountains will drop with must, 
and the hills will flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah will 
flow with water, and a fountain goes forth from the house of the 
Lord and waters the valley of Shittim." However the valley of 
Shittim may be defined, so much is certain, that it is a dry, unfruitful 
place, the destination of the water, therefore, to render fruitful the 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 259 

land, sterile for want of water, and at the same time always to supply 
the thirsty with a refreshing drink, as is also announced in the fore- 
going prediction of abundance instead of want, and fruitfulness in- 
stead of sterility, is confirmed. If now we inquire after the sense of 
this representation, no one surely will agree with the explanation of 
Grotius, " aqucB ductus fient cgregii, lit in alta pace," which is en- 
tirely characteristic of the exegetical manner of its author, which 
nevertheless is not surpassed by other strange things, which he brings 
forward Hpon the chapter, when, e. g., he understands by him who ap- 
pears on the Mount of Olives the son of Bacchus, who from there 
orders the siege, and concerning the cleaving of the mountain re- 
marks, " Multa humus cgerctur, ita ut Met mons in magna sui parte," 
&c. If then the representation is figurative, the question arises. 
What does the figure import? Here, however, there can be no doubt. 
The water, as well that which descends from the clouds, as that of 
fountains, brooks, and streams, where the comparison is not ex- 
pressly limited to something special, is always an image of the divine 
blessings in their whole compass, and in all their fulness, which 
quicken the dry and thirsty waste of man's necessity. This will be 
evident from a citation of several of the principal passages ; the de- 
parture of God, the withdrawal of his favors and blessings, appear as 
a destitution of water, e. g. Is. 41 : 17 : " The suffering and poor 
seek for water, and it is not there, their tongue faileth for thirst; I, 
the Lord, will hear them ; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them." 
Still more to the purpose are such passages as Is. 44:3: "I will 
pour water upon that which is thirsty, and streams upon that which 
is dry ; I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon 
thine offspring." " My blessing" is here the whoJe of the substance 
of the figure ; " my Spirit" is a part of the same, and we must not, 
in order to make both expressions entirely synonymous, either with 
some interpreters attribute a false meaning to nn, or with others, 
limit na'i?, 41 : 18; "I open upon the hills streams, in the valleys 
fountains, and make the desert pools of water, and the dry land springs 
of water. I will give in the wilderness cedars," «Sz,c. 30 : 25 ; "And 
there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, 
streams of water in the day of the great battle, when the towers fall." 
Ezek. 34:26; "I give them and the environs of my hill for a 
blessing, and cause the rain to come down in its time," comp. yet 
Is. 43: 20, 44 : 8, 48 : 21, 49 : 10, 58 : 11. It may be still further 
asked, why the prophet causes the water, the image of the divine 

270 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

blessings, to go forth from Jerusalem. The answer is, that, under 
the image of the central point of the militant church under the Old 
Testament, of the place which the Lord glorified by his typical presence 
in the temple, is here exhibited to the prophet the central point of the 
triumphant church, the place where the Lord, when he comes with his 
saints, establishes his residence; comp. v. 6, 2 : 15 ; his rest, Is. 11 : 
10. From Jerusalem, therefore, go forth the waters, in so far as 
here is the seat of the Lord, the place from which he imparts his 
gracious favors to his subjects. This appears still clearer from the 
comparison of the parallel passages. According to Joel and Ezekiel, 
the water goes forth from the temple ; according to Apoc. 22 : 1, 
from the throne of God and the Lamb. — If now Jerusalem stands 
here as a designation of its antitype, so must accordingly the whole 
compass of the Jewish land, over which the fountain pours itself, sig- 
nify that which bears the same relation to the glorified Jerusalem, as 
this bears to the typical, i. e. the whole compass of the glorified king- 
dom of God, which indeed, according to v. 9, and the constant 
predictions of all other prophets, is to be extended over the whole 
earth. The whole earth therefore shall be watered with the stream 
of the divine blessings, Ps. 36 : 6. — The last words, " in summer and 
in winter it will be," signify the permanency of the divine blessings, 
in contrast, partly with the frailty of all human enjoyments, partly 
with the frequent interruptions of these divine gifts themselves, dur- 
ing the time of the militant church, when the Lord must often con- 
ceal his face in order to cleanse the church, in which were mingled 
the holy and profane, by purifying judgments ; while now, when the 
whole church consists of the righteous, and there is no more a Ca- 
naanite in the house of the Lord, there will be no more curse. Je- 
rome explains, " Ut nee gelu constringantur hyeme, nee cestatis 
nimio fervore siccentur ? " But the comparison of the parallel pas- 
sages shows, that the 'prophet here had only the last in view ; that the 
winter is named as the time, when even other brooks give forth 
abundance of water. (Job 6: 16 — 18,) compares his friends with 
brooks, which are swollen in the winter, and have an abundance of 
water, but in summer, when their water is most needed, dry up, and 
therefore painfully deceive the hope of the traveller. Isaiah (58 : 11) 
represents the divine mercy, and those who were its objects, under 
the image of a fountain whose waters do not lie. 

V. 9. , " And the Lord xvill he king over the whole land ; in that day 
the Lord loill he only one and his name only one." \'^^'^~hy'hy_ is 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 271 

very generally translated " over the whole earth." There can be no 
doubt that this interpretation is substantially correct, that here the 
discourse is concerning an extension of the dominion of the Lord 
over all nations of the earth in contrast with its former limitation to 
a single people; comp. chap. 9 : 9, 10. Ps. 72:8 — 11. Ps. 2. 
Dan. 2 : 35, &c. We must however with Ruckert prefer the trans- 
lation " over the whole land." For, v. 8, the new kingdom of God had 
represented itself to the prophet under the image of the former ; v. 
10, we find the same mode of representation, and it is certainly un- 
natural to assume, that l"ixn~'7D stands here in a sense different from 
there, so immediately after. Mark correctly observes : " Non ogitur 
heic de regno naturm et providenticc communis ; — sed de regno spe- 
ciuli gratia;, — quale hahuit deus olim in Israel." The Lord is the 
natural king of the whole human race ; but this relation was dis- 
turbed by the fall ; this was the commencement of a series of re- 
bellious efforts, which terminated in nearly all his subjects with- 
drawing their allegiance from him, and choosing for themselves 
other lords and kings in heaven and on earth, according to their 
hearts' desire. The Lord, for whom it would have been easy to de- 
stroy his unfaithful subjects by a word of his omnipotence, willed, in 
accordance with his love, instead of this, their voluntary return to 
obedience. Because the whole mass was not yet prepared, he com- 
menced by restoring the natural relation among one particular peo- 
ple. With the first appearing of Christ commenced the extension of 
the plan to which the special Theocracy had served only as the 
means ; its completion will be introduced with his return in glory, 
when all opposers will either by his mercy be converted from his 
enemies to his servants, or be destroyed by his punishment from his 
kingdom, which will then embrace the whole earth. Especially re- 
markable in this connexion is Ps. 22 : 28, 29 ; " All the ends of the 
earth shall remember and turn to the Lord ; all nations of the heathen 
shall fall down before thee. For to the Lord is the dominion, he 
ruleth among the heathen." That all the heathen will hereafter be 
subject to the Lord is grounded on the fact, that he is their rightful 
and natural king-and their present relation to him, an unnatural one, 
which therefore cannot be lasting. " The Lord will be one, and his 
name one," is well explained by a Lapide : "Jam in orbe multi ha- 
bentur et nominantur dii, — sed tempore illo unus ah omnibus gcntibvs 
coletur et tiominabitur deus." " The Lord will be only one," is il- 
lustrated by the Arabic, where idolaters bear the standing name 

272 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

^jA.3 ^MM.3| , qui deo socios addunt. " His name," &c. has been 
variously misunderstood. It is explained by the circumstance, that 
all names of idols, because though these D'S'S^ are nonentities, yet 
as the heathen choose to designate God by them, may be considered 
in a certain sense as different appellations of the true God. It is en- 
tirely analogous, when, in the second part of Isaiah, the efforts of the 
makers of idols are constantly represented as attempts to represent 
God by an image, and on this ground their folly is shown. It may 
be supposed, that the prophet was here led by the events of his time 
to give prominence to the fact, that at that time the name of the Lord 
would be only one. The edicts of the Persian kings, as contained 
in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, make it highly probable, that 
the Persians, who are greatly addicted to religious amalgamation, 
were prepared to represent their God Ormuzd and the God of Israel 
as one and the same Deity, differing only in names and modes of 
revelation, without going any farther, because they naturally thought 
that every people must preserve their own name of God, and hold 
fast to the mode of revelation vouchsafed to them, which cannot in- 
deed be separated from the name. 

V. 10. ^' All the land icill change, as the plain from Gehah to 
Rimmon, south of Jerusalem ; and she icill he exalted, and seat her- 
self on her throne, from the gate of Benjamin, to the place of the first 
gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel to the 
zoine presses of the king." The object in the verse is twofold. First, 
the exaltation of Jerusalem, effected by all the rest of the land being 
changed into a plain ; then, her restoration to her former greatness, 
after having been destroyed by being taken by the enemy, v. 2, still 
more however perhaps by the earthquake, v. 5, and the other judg- 
ments inflicted upon the enemies found in her We first explain 

that which relates to the former object. The verb 330 here to turn 
one's self, to change one's self ]"\i<rr-hD, not indeed, as Michaelis, " the 
whole region round about Jerusalem," but "the whole land." This 
appears from precisely the only thing which could establish this lim- 
itation, the phrase from Geha to Rimmon. For these are the two 
extreme boundaries of the land of Judea on the south and the north, 
by which the prophet here designates its whole compass, in like man- 
ner as in V. 8, by its east and west boundaries. Rimmon, here de- 
signated as south of Jerusalem, to distinguish it from the rock Rim- 
mon, lay in the extreme south of the tribe of Judah, and, like Beer- 
sheba, was a city of the Simeonites on the borders of Idumea ; comp. 

;^ECHARIAH Chap. 14. 273 

Josh. 15 : 21, 32. That Gebah lay on the north border, appears from 
the fact that, 2 Kings 23 : 8, the whole extent of the kingdom of Ju- 
dah is designated by the expression, " from Gebah to Beersheba," 
comp. Reland, II. p. 801, 973, Bachiene, II. §369, 257. T\y}VD stands 
instead of a whole proposition, " as the plain is, or, is conditioned." 
Just as D, chap. 2 : 10 : "I spread you out r\inn J'^IND, as are the 
four winds, So that your dwelling-place corresponds with them." 
The interpreters uniformly take n^n^n as an appellative, a plain, 
without considering that we have then no appropriate sense, as the 
land to be changed into the plain, cannot be compared with a plain, 
and that the article, which points to a definite plain, is opposed to 
this interpretation, na^it, with the article, always signifies the greatest 
and principal of all the plains of Judea, thai of the Jordan, " the low 
land between the mountain ranges, which encompass the Jordan on 
the east and west side," in Josephus, (.liya nsdlov, comp. Reland, I. 
p. 359 sq. ; Bachiene, I. § 154 sq. ; Ritter, II. p. 321. — The sense 
therefore is, " All mountains in Judea, those of Jerusalem excepted, 
shall be changed into plains, so that the whole land is like the great 
flat, which hitherto constituted only one portion of it." The design 
of the change is intimated by, " and Jerusalem will be exalted." 
The whole land will be depressed, in order that Jerusalem alone may 
appear elevated. We now investigate the import of this symbolical 
representation. Jerusalem here again designates, as in v. 8, the cen- 
tral point of the glorified kingdom of God, Judea, this kingdom in 
its whole compass, in its extension over the whole earth. How 
then could the sense well be otherwise, than that " the Lord alone 
will be exalted in that day, his rest glorious, (Is. 11 : 10), his domin- 
ion, as that of the king of the whole earth, will destroy all earthly 
and apparent greatness, which rises up in opposition." By a some- 
what different image, thereby showing that the crude literal under- 
standing found in Jewish interpreters is entirely untenable, the same 
thought is expressed in Is. 2 : 2, Mic. 4:1, Ezek. 40 : 2. The tem- 
ple mountain will be placed on the summit of all the mountains of 
the earth. A third image is found in Dan. 2 : 35. The stone, the 
symbol of the Messiah's kingdom, smites the colossus which repre- 
sents the kingdoms of the world in contrast with that of God, and 
becomes a mountain, which fills the whole earth. — We now proceed 
to explain what concerns the second object, the rebuilding of the city. 
Concerning rr-nnn \i2Vl\ see on chap. 12 : 6. The S in ij^iJ'a'?, 
is to be joined with the verb 3!i'\ The verb :dK?; is not seldom con- 
voL. II. 35 

274 ZKCHARIAH Chap. 14. 

strued with S, when it imports not to dwell, or to sit, but to seat one's 
self; comp. e. g, Ps. 9 : 5. We cannot therefore interpret " she sits," 
as all interpreters do, but " she scats herself on her throne, in the place 
of the gate of Benjamin," &c. The whole compass of the city is the 
seat or throne, which she takes possession of Here she seats her- 
self on her throne, v. 11, where na'; with 3. is construed "she sits" 
thereon. The point, from which this determination of the bounda- 
ries proceeds, is the gate of Benjamin. This gate is no doubt the 
same, which is elsewhere called " the gate of Ephraim." The way to 
the land of Benjamin was by the gate of Benjamin, conip. Jer. 37 : 
12, 13. It lay therefore northward. The gate of Ephraim is de- 
signated 2 Sam. 13 : 23, as directed towards Ephraim, i^'^iSN U]? ; 
the way towards Ephraim however passed through Benjamin, comp. 
Faber, Archdol. p. 334. The first terminus ad quern is the place of 
the first gate. This gate does not occur besides under the same 
name, it is however no doubt the same, which elsewhere bears the 
name nJK'^n "i^'K^. This appears first from the name, njw^n ~\\n2J_ 
means " the gate of the old," not precisely " the old gate." After Gous- 
set, Hitzig, 1. c. p. 53, supposes " gate of the old " to be, e. g. " gate of 
the old pool," which is mentioned Is. 22 : 11. But this opinion is en- 
tirely untenable, because the T\)iV':r\ ''\]!p_ lay in the northeast corner of 
the city, where the old pool, formed by the waters of the fountain 
Siloa, could not possibly be ; comp, Vitringa, and Ges. on Is. 1. c. Be- 
sides, the ellipsis is harsh, and without example. This difficulty on the 
contrary is removed, as soon as with others we explain, " gate of the 
old city." For as the cities were personified as matrons, every addition 
was properly unnecessary. We often find, besides, also Jescanah as 
a name of two cities ; comp. Reland, p. 861. By the name of the old 
city, however, was that part of Jerusalem probably designated, which 
already existed at the time of the Jebusites, in contrast with the later 
enlargement by David and his successors, — in like manner as, at a 
later period, that which was recently built was called Bezctha, xaivij 
noXig in Josephus, in contrast with the whole of the former city. 
Faber, p. 277. The name of this gate entirely corresponded with this. 
ptyxin "^yp can mean nothing else than " the first gate," not, as Hitzig 
supposes, " the former, or, the gate that was ; " for this meaning 
would then only be proper, when there was an antithesis with a new 
gate, psyxi never signifies " that which was," without this contrast 
with the present. As now the old city was the first, so also was its 
gate, among all the gates of the later .Jerusalem, the first. In favor 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 275 

of this we have, secondly, its position ; just as here the Jirst gate ap- 
pears as the first terminus ad quem from the gate of Benjamin, in 
Neh. 12 : 39, where the gates are numbered according to their geo- 
graphical position, the old gate follows immediately after the gate of 
Ephraim. We must not seek the first gate west of the gate of Ben- 
jamin, but east. For, as the terminus ad quem from the gate of Ben- 
jamin towards the west, the corner gate is immediately mentioned ; 
and that we must by no means seek the first between this and the 
gate of Benjamin is evident from the very small distance, four hun- 
dred cubits, by which, according to 2 Kings 14 : 23, both gates were 
separated from each other. Entirely corresponding with this is the 
position of the gate of the old city. It was nearest to the gate of 
Ephraim towards the east, probably at the northeast extremity, comp. 
Faber, p. 332. — n>' before Xl'":i2r\ nj|>^ designates not the terminus ad 
quem from the first gate, but, as already remarked, a new terminus ad 
quem from the gate of Benjamin westward. For that the corner gate 
lay not eastward, but westward, appears from Jer. 31 : 38, where, 
by the antithesis of the tower of Hananeel lying on the east side, and 
of the corner gate, the whole breadth of the city is designated. — 
The tower of Hananeel lay on the east side of the city near to the 
sheep gate, Neh. 3:1, 12: 37, 39. From this tower, the prophet 
begins a new line, — for before Si^D, ]n is to be supplied out of the 
preceding, — which he continues to the wine-vats of the king, with- 
out doubt on the south side of the city, where, according to Neh. 3 : 
15, were the royal gardens ; comp. Faber, p. 335. Thus therefore 
we have here a description of the compass of the city accordino^ to 
all the four regions of heaven. And now a highly remarkable phe- 
nomenon presents itself, which alone is sufficient to prove the genu- 
ineness of the second part. The prophet mentions only the edifices, 
which had remained uninjured in the destruction by the Chaldeans, 
none which were not in existence in the time of Zechariah after the 
destruction, and before the rebuilding of the walls by Neheraiah. 
In the first place, two gates, the gate of Benjamin, and the corner 
gate, serve as termini ; for the third, the first gate by the addition 
unto the place, unto its former site, is expressly designated as no 
longer existing. One of these, the corner gate, appears also in the 
prophecy of Jer. 31 : 38, composed after the destruction, as still 
standing, (comp. Bertholdt, p. 1436.) Both were omitted in the de- 
scription of the rebuilding of the gates by Nehemiah, chap. 3, which, 
especially when compared with 12 : 39, cannot be explained other- 

276 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

wise, than by supposing that it did not need to be rebuilt, but only per- 
haps slightly repaired. On the contrary, the old gate, appearing here 
as destroyed, is mentioned among those which were rebuilt. The tow- 
er of Hananeel appears, as well in Jer. 1. c, as also Neh. 3 : 1, as 
still standing. — The royal wine-vats cannot easily be supposed to 
have been destroyed. This was scarcely possible, since, as is still 
the case in the. east (comp. Chardin, in Harmar, Th. III. p. J 17.), 
where the ground allows it, they are hewn out of the rocks ; comp. 
Is. 5 : 2, Matt. 21 : 33. Nonni Diomjsiac. 12, 330. Such being the 
nature of the royal wine-vats, it is as probable as the contrary, that 
they still exist among the great mass of the excavations in the rocks, 
which are found particularly in the neighbourhood of the fountain of 
Siloa; comp. Ritter, II. p. 419, 421. For why should they not as 
well be preserved as the cisterns and graves 1 Their destruction, prop- 
erly speaking, was impossible, though they might have been filled 
up. We can however abundantly prove by a special witness, that 
they were still in existence. They lay, as already remarked, without 
doubt in the royal gardens, and these, appear, Neh. 3: 15, to have 
been spared during the destruction by the Chaldeans. — We now 
inquire, what the prophet intends to express by the image of the re- 
building of Jerusalem. For that we are not to take him literally, is 
evident from the whole character of the description, particularly v. 
8, 9, where, under the image of Judea, the whole earth presents it- 
self, and in like manner the first half of the vevse before us, where 
Jerusalem, in relation to the rest of Judea, designates the central 
point of the future kingdom of God, in relation to its circumference, 
which embraces the whole earth. The rebuilding of Jerusalem here 
predicted, stands in close relation to its capture described v. 1,2, and 
the desolations occasioned by the divine judgments inflicted upon 
the enemies found in it. The sense, the kingdom of God after the 
Lord shall have removed all traces of the calamity, to which it had 
been subject, will recover its ancient splendor. This the prophet 
expresses, in accordance with the representation of the distresses in- 
flicted upon the same, under the image of a capture of the city, by 
the image of its restoration to its ancient limits, which are accord- 
ingly more accurately defined by a special mention of the particular 

V. 11. " And they dwell in her, and there shall be no more curse, 
and Jerusalem sits securely on her throne." After " they dwell there- 
in," there is no occasion, with most interpreters, to supply a scil. "se- 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 2^7 

cureiy." For then would the last member contain an empty tautology. 
Rather, the bare sitting or dwelling, is here sufficient, in the antithe- 
sis with, " she seated herself," in the preceding verse ; and at the same 
time with the going forth, partly as prisoners, partly as fugitives, v. 
2, and v. 5, The expression, " there shall be no more curse," desig- 
nates the church of God as consisting, after this catastrophe, purely 
of the righteous and holy, and therefore no longer, as in former times, 
to be purified by Theocratical judgments ; comp. on v. 21. In the 
new Jerusalem the penal justice of God will no more find an object ; 
his whole conduct towards her therefore will be an uninterrupted 
manifestation of his love and mercy. The same thought Jeremiah 
1- c. expresses by including the valley of Hinnom, a place desecrated 
by the most frightful abominations, within the compass of the new 
Jerusalem, and then subjoining, " they shall no more be destroyed 
for ever ; " comp. also Apoc. 22 : 3. 

V. 12. " And this joill be the plague wherewith the Lord will 
plague all nations, which have warred against Jerusalem ; his flesh 
will rot icliile he stands on his feet, and his eyes will rot in their sock- 
ets and their tongue will rot in their mouth." The prophet, having 
first described the judgments upon the house of God, contented him- 
self with a mere intimation of the destruction, which the Lord would 
bring upon its enemies, the instruments, and no less the objects, of his 
penal justice, v. 3 — 5, and had proceeded directly to an object most 
attractive to his heart, to the blessings to be conferred by the mercy 
of God upon his purified church. Here he interrupts the description, 
in order more fully to describe the punishment of the enemies. Ac- 
cording to the nature of the prophetico-symbolic representation, 
which exhibits every thing in vision, and at the same time with ref- 
erence to the corporeal judgments under the former Theocracy, as 
e. g. that upon the Assyrians, the punishment here appears exclu- 
sively as corporeal, in like manner as the crime also is made an ob- 
ject of sense, by being represented under the form of a military ex- 
pedition against Jerusalem. Not perceiving this, Cocceius and Mark 
would transfer the spiritual element of the punishment into the words 
themselves. They suppose that the prophet speaks of a wasting away 
of the body arising from remorse of conscience ! The correct view 
is rather, that the substance of the prophet's prediction is merely the 
punishment itself, that he leaves the mode of this to the fulfilment, 
and that what he seems to say concerning it, belongs only to the 
dress, instead of which another could have been chosen, as appears 

'278 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

e. g. from a comparison of Is. 66 : 24, where the enemies of the 
kino-dom of God appear under the image of living corpses, which lie 
as an everlastino- prey of the worms, and the fire without the gate of 
the residence of the holy, i. e. of Jerusalem. — On the hifin. pan, 
which gives prominence to the action alone, in order to direct atten- 
tion to its fearfulness, comp. Ewald, p. 559. The Hiph. shows, that 
we are to regard the agent, as the Lord, and therefore that for this 
reason the translation of Riickert, with all his effort to be literal, 
" the disappearing of his flesh, because he stands on his feet," is not 
coirect. It is liable to a still stronger objection. He has been led 
by the Lexicons and commentators on the passage, to give to the 
verb ppn the meaning to disappear, while the meaning to rot, to 
moulder, is the only one that can be justified by the use of the verb 
itself, not merely Ps. 38 : 6, where it is necessarily required, but also 
Levit. 26 : 39, and in Ezek. 24 : 23, 33 : 10, which rests upon this 
passage, where it gives, as here, a stronger, and therefore in this con- 
nexion a preferable sense ; and also by the use of the derivative, p'O, 
rottenness, mould, Is. 3 : 24, 5 : 24. The expression, " and he stands 
upon his feet," magnifies the fearfulness of the judgment. They 
will be living corpses. If we look at that which is corporeal alone, 
such a putrefaction of a living body is far more terrifying than death. 
Cyril, o [lEV yag y.oivog oirog xal in xi]g cpvaecag &dvuTog zijxei fiiv rug 
ujidvtbiv adgxag, x«* aTtoxugsi 6(p&alfJ.ovg xul ykwaaag, nuvdBcvov Si xal 
Tijg slg lij^iv ■^xovaijg ovfiqjogug sir] uv tlxoTCug to ^wvjiov xul earwTcov I'rt 
jaxTJvoiL fisv adgxag xul anoQQslv oq&aXjxovg, xold^sa&ui 8s xal ylcaaoag' 
That besides the flesh, the eye and tongue are especially mentioned, 
is not, as the comparison of chap. 11 : 16 shows, without reason. 
The tongue is mentioned, because it insolently contemned God and 
his people, (Jerome : lingua magniloqua, quce dci populum blasphe- 
mabat, solvetur in saniem, et intra vallum dentium computrescet,) 
corap. Ps. 12 : 4, Is. chap. 37 ; the eye, because it spied out the na- 
kedness of the city of God ; the whole body, because it invaded Jeru- 

V. 13. " And it happens in that day, great will be the confusion 
caused by the Lord among them, and they seize each one the hand of 
his neighbour, and his hand raises itself up against the hand of his 
jieigJibour." There is here an allusion to the example of panic- 
terror, sent by the Lord upon his enemies, and a confusion, which led 
to mutual destruction in the former history of the people of God, 
comp. Deut. 7: 23, Judges 7: 14, 1 Sam. 14: 20 ("and be- 

ZECriAKIAH Chap. 14 279 

liold the sword of a man was against his neighbour, a very great 
confusion," nninp) ; principally however to the history of Jehosha- 
phat ; comp. particularly 2 Chron. 20 : 23 : " And the children of 
Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, 
utterly to slay and destroy them ; and when they had made an end 
of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another." 
Comp. also Is. 49 : 26. Ezek. 38 : 21, " The sword of a man shall 
be against his brother," where there is a similar allusion. y^_ stands 
here emphatic. It is a certain sign of the curse of God when allies 
rage against one another ; comp. chap. 11 : 14, Is. 19 : 2. — By the 
seizing of the hand, we are to understand a hostile assault, according 
to the connexion and the parallel passages. Still more plainly is 
hostiltty implied in " the hand raises itself," &c. Each one seeks to 
master the hand of his neighbour in order in this way to disarm him, 
and having done this, he cuts at him, and indeed chiefly at his hand, 
because whoever is deprived of it, can be slain without danger. 

V. 14. " A7id Judah also loill Jight in Jerusalem, and the riches 
of all the heathen round about are collected, gold and silver and gar- 
ments in great abundance." According to a very ancient and widely 
extended interpretation, the first member is translated, " And Judah 
also will make war with Jerusalem." So the Chaldee, " Qui sunt de 
domo Judah, gentes adducent coactas pugnare ;" Jerome, " Sed et Ju- 
das piignabit adversus Jerusalem ;" Jarchi, Cocceius, Ch. B. Michae- 
lis, Riickert, and many others. At least equally old, (the Seventy, na- 
^«T«'|fTMt iv 'ifQovaah'iix,) is the translation, " Judah will combat in Je- 
rusalem." What is adduced in favor of the former interpretation with 
great plausibility is, the assertion, that ? after the verb on^n, uni- 
formly indicates the abject of the hostility. But, on a nearer investi- 
gation, it appears, that 5 has this meaning only when the discourse 
is of persons ; that on the contrary, when cities are spoken of, it al- 
ways and without exception is used to denote place, and accordingly 
can here be grammatically translated only, " Judah will fight in Jeru- 
salem." This difference between persons and places is grounded in 
the nature of the case. ^ after the verb to Jight, cannot mean pre- 
cisely against, it retains rather its original local meaning. Now a 
host may well fight in a host, in so far as both come to blows, but 
not the besieger in the besieged' city, until he has captured it. Pas- 
sages, in which the local meaning of 3 before the names of places 
after the verb DnSj, is entirely obvious, and the common under- 
standing of it by against, plainly untenable, are the following ; Is. 

280 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

30 : 32, " And in fierce conflicts will he, the Lord, contend in her." 
Judges 9 : 45, T'i'n 00*7; '^S.pOij! not "Abimelech fought against," 
but " in the city." It is before related, how he surprised the gate, by 
which the besieged made a sally, and then sent out two divisions of 
the host against them, which were cut off from the city, while he 
himself fought in the city. 2 Sam. 11:1; " David sent Joab and all 
Israel with him, and they besieged Rabbah." {n|l S;? nyM.) Then, 
12: 26; " And then (after all had taken place related in chaps. 11, 
12, after an effort had been made in vain, and with great loss, to 
enter the city,) Joab fought in Rabbah, and then took he the kings' 
city. And Joab sent messengers to David, and said : I have fought 
in Rabbah and taken the city of waters." 2 Sam. 21 : 19, " The 
war was again 3U5, in Gob;" comp. v. 20. The only doubtful pas- 
sage is that 1 Sam. 23 : 1, " And they showed to David, behold, the 
Philistines fight in Kegilah, and plunder the threshing-floors." That 
the city itself was not taken, is evident from what follows; yet we 
are not thereby compelled to give up the local meaning of 5. It is 
only necessary to assume, that the city here includes its nearest en- 
virons, in which were the threshing-floors ; comp. Judges 6 : 37, 2 
Sam. 24 : 16. If now this argument is done away and indeed proves 
the opposite, it can no longer be doubted that the explanation, " Judah 
will fight against Jerusalem," is to be totally rejected. Of a hostile 
relation "between Judah and Jerusalem we find no trace either here, 
or chap. 12, but rather the opposite. It is however entirely decisive, 
that here the fighting of Judah stands in manifest connexion with 
the gathering of the booty in what follows. This connexion, how- 
ever, cannot exist, unless the fighting is taken, not in a hostile, but 
in a friendly relation, precisely as, 2 Chron. 20 : 24, &c., both Judah 
and Jerusalem, as formerly in the danger, so now also participate in 
the spoil. 

V. 15. " And so will be the plague of the horses, the nudes, the cam- 
els, and the asses, which shall be in those camps, as this jdague." 
The verse contains an amplification of the crime and the punish- 
ment. They have so grievously sinned, that their possessions also 
have become polluted, and subject to the divine malediction. The 
representation of the prophet here proceeds from the same feeling 
with the Mosaic ordinance respecting the curse of God. When a 
whqlc city had made itself guilty of idolatry, not only were its inhab- 
itants, but also the cattle, to be slain ; so that here, on a small scale, 
the same relation of the irrational part of the creation to the rational 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 281 

is repeated, according to which, the creature, on account of the sin 
of man, was made subject to vanity against its will, comp. Michaelis, 
Mos. R. III. '^ 145. V. § 246. The case is also analogous, when, for 
the crime of Achan, besides himself and his children, his oxen, asses, 
and sheep also, were burnt. Josh. 7 : 24. 

V. 16. " And it conies to pass, all the remnant of all the heathen, 
which come against Jerusalem, shall go up from year to year to sup- 
plicate the King, Jehovah of hosts, and to celebrate the feast of tab- 
ernacles." — That the journeying of the nations from all the regions 
of the earth to Jerusalem, is to be understood figuratively, that the 
prophet, as already, chap. 8 : 22, 23, as Mic. 4:1, Is. 2 : 3, employs 
the method, in which the fear of God, and participation of the king- 
dom of God, manifested itself under the Old Testament, as a type of 
its manifestation in the Messianic time, appears partly from the nature 
of the case itseif, (" qui enimforct possibile, nt omnes xinivcrsi orbis 
incolcc, Japanenses, Sinenses, utriusque poll vicim,ctc. quotannis Hie- 
rosol. petercnt festuni agitaturi ?" Dachs, Dissert, ad Sach. 14, 16. 
adcalc. cod. Talmud. Succnh, Utrecht, 1726. p. 547.,) partly from the 
nature of the whole description, comp. especially on v. 8 — 10. The 
question now arises, why the prophet selected from all the festivals, 
precisely the feast of tabernacles. That he has not done this with- 
out a definite reason, appears from the impossibility of otherwise con- 
ceiving, why he should not have retained the festivals mentioned in the 
passage Is. 66 : 23 ; with which that before us in all respects, even in 
expression, accurately coincides ; " And it comes to pass from new 
moon to new moon, from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh will come to 
pray before me, saith the Lord." Here, in order to express the zeal 
of the new citizens of the kingdom of God, in the worship of the 
Lord, those festivals are chosen, which return most frequently. 
Under the Old Testament only one people went up to Jerusalem to the 
three great annual feasts, now all flesh journey thither on each Sab- 
bath and new moon. This parallel passage serves at the same time 
to place the absurdity of the literal interpretation in a stronger light. 
In the determination of the ground, which may have induced the 
prophet to choose precisely the feast of tabernacles, the interpreters 
are divided. Theodoret {fjim^dsiog yag tig anodri^iag 6 ravttjg xac 
gog, ^dgovg vtiuqxojp y.aigog), Grotius {''cum longius positi anniios 
diesfesios celebrare non possint, ut Judcei, certe semel anno, autumni 
tempore quod ad itinera commodissimum, venient," etc.), and others, 
adhere to the least spiritual of all. Nor do those arrive at the truth, 

VOL. ir. 36 

282 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14, 

who suppose, that the feast of tabernacles is mentioned only because 
it was regarded as especially holy by the Jews, which is proved by 
its being called by Plutarch, Symp. I. IV. 5, [iiyl(j%7iv j^luoxdrriv 
TcuQ ttVTolg ioQTi\v, and the Talmud x«t' «|. Jn, and because it was 
celebrated with peculiar joy. There is no grourid in the law for dis- 
tinguishing the feast of tabernacles, in these two respects, above the 
two remaining festivals, nor can it be shown that this was done in 
the time of the prophet. The correct view is rather that of those, 
who, as Dachs, Ch. B. Michaelis, and others, have attributed its se- 
lection to the peculiar nature of the feast of tabernacles. It was, ac- 
cording to Levit. 23: 33, a festival of thanksgiving for the merciful 
protection of the Lord in the journey through the wilderness, to which 
alone it was owing,- that the people, instead of being overcome by the 
dangers, which threatened their destruction, were purified by them, 
and attained to the ppssession of the land of Canaan. * This wander- 
ing of the people of Israel was however a type (comp. 1 Cor. 10 : 11.), 
not only of the similar proceedings of God with this people in future 
times, particularly of the Babylonish and present exile, (comp. Ezek. 
20: 34; "I bring you to the tcilderness of the nations, saith the 
Lord, and there contend with you face to face ; as I have contended 
with your fathers in the wilderness of Egypt, so will I contend with 
you, saith the Lord. In this wilderness will the Lord purify the 
people, and cut off the ungodly members ; I expel from among you 
the sinners and the transgressors against me,") but also of his con- 
duct towards those who were destined at a future day to become his 
people. This people will then celebrate the feast of tabernacles, 
'' Quum post cliuturnas suas per horridum hujus miindi desertum pere- 
grinationes aditum ad hmreditatem, et introitum in Canaam plenarie 
sihi videbit reclusum in fine dierum ;" (Dachs ;) not outwardly, but 
spiritually, as the Sabbath, Heb. 4 : 9, and the passover, 1 Cor. 5 : 7, 
8. In the feast of tabernacles, as well as in the two remaining great 
festivals, the benefits of God in nature, were celebrated, together with 
that manifested in the history of his people. It was at the same time 
the thanksgiving feast for the completion of the harvest '"l"P!<r!. Jn. 
Perhaps the prophet had also this design of the festival in view, per- 
haps he regarded the feast of tabernacles at the same time as a feast 
of gratitude for the rich gifts of grace imparted to the new citizens 
of the kingdom of God. — " All that remains," Slc, reminds us, of 
the coincidence between the type and the antitype. As not all who 
came up out of Egypt reached Canaan, and there celebrated the feast 

ZECHARIAH Cuai'. 14 283 

of tabernacles, as, on the contrary, the greatest part of them were cut 
off during the journey througli the wilderness, by the divine judg- 
ments ; so also will not all the heathen, who formerly went up against 
Jerusalem, now go thither in thankfulness and love, but only the 
remnant whom the mercy of God spares after the greater part, all 
the stiffnecked despisers of God, shall have been destroyed by the 
judgments formerly described. — |P in '^J? is not the terminus a quo, 
nor ^ in T\W2 the terminus ad quern, but njii>5 njt^ signifies : 
a year in a year, one year as it were inserted into another, as the 
links in a chain, and the preceding ""^n, properly e% suffidentia., 
only serves to express more strongly the regularity and constancy of 
the action. Is., also, 66 : 23, is to be explained, " Regularly every new 
moon, in its new moon, (the one belonging to it, because belonging 
to the natural course of time immediately following it,) and regularly 
every Sabbath in its Sabbath." The assertion of several Jewish in- 
terpreters is erroneous, that the circumstance, that "j'ijp. stands with- 
out the article, not ^.lh_, but "^Xil, indicates, that we must translate, 
" to the king of the Lord," and that by this king, not the Lord himself, 
but the Messiah is to be understood. The article, which occurs far 
more rarely in poetry than in prose, comp. Ewald, p. 568, is here not 
strictly required, because the nearer determination follows, in which 
case also we could omit it, and entirely the.sarae connexion is found. 
Is. 6 : 5. The Lord is here also called king, not in reference to his 
general government of the world, but in the Theocratic sense, 
comp. V. 9. 

V. 17.' " And it comes to pass, that ivlioever of all the families of 
the earth will not go up to Jerusalem to pray to the king, Jehovah oj 
liosts, — upo7i them there will be no rain.'^ ■ According to several in- 
terpreters, by raiii, here, the divine blessings are figuratively desig- 
nated. So e. g. Grotius : " Quod per comparationem diq;itur, Hos. 6 : 
3., id hie per mctaphoram, qucc eurtata comparatio est, demonstralur ; 
nam per imhrem intelligitur divinus favor, quia et imbtr vocMri solet 
tvXoyla" That which has been already said on v. 12, is applicable 
here also. To take DK/.4, when there is no reason for this in the 
context, precisely as a figurative designation of the divine blessings, 
is highly capricious. The correct view is, rather, that the representa- 
lion of this verse like the former is throughout figurative, that the 
prophet represents spiritual relations by external objects. The 
thought that, at that time, instead of leaving the heathen to them- 
selves as at present, the Lord would demand of them the fulfilment 

284 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

of their duties towards him, the prophet expresses, by declaring that 
all, who do not join in the journey to Jerusalem, should be afflicted 
with the want of rain ; a punishment threatened in the law against its 
transgressors, and frequently inflicted, particularly in the case of 
Ahab. It cannot however be inferred from this passage, that at that 
time there will actually be such refractory persons. The passage is 
rather entirely analogous to that of Is. 65 : 20. The supposed ex- 
istence of such, serves the prophet merely as a foundation for the 
thought, which we have already designated as containing the sub- 
stance of the representation. The appellation, " the families of the 
earth," seems to be intentionally chosen, in order to indicate the 
changed relation of the heathen to the Lord, the Theocratic relation, 
in which they now stand to him, as it contains the basis of their far 
stronger obligation henceforth to serve him. 

"V. 18. " And if the family of Egypt does not go forth, and come 
up, so will there not be rain upon them, hut there shall be upon them 
the plague, lohereioith the Lord will plague all the nations, loho will 
not go forth to celebrate the feast of tabernacles." The strange 
supposition, that the prophet must here have particular regard to the 
natural condition of Egypt, which owes its fertility, not to the rain, 
which there falls sparingly, and in Upper Egypt not at all, but to the 
Nile, has led the interpreters, almost without exception, to very un- 
natural interpretations. They either connect Dn'Si? J^h)!, as the 
Seventy have done, with the protasis, and then several of them trans- 
late, " super quos non est imher, erit ilia plaga, qua affectnrus est 
Jehovah gentes," by which plague they then understand that of v. 12, 
but erroneously, because here indeed the discourse relates to the 
punishment of those, who, after they have escaped the divine judg- 
ments, decline going up as suppliants to Jerusalem, — or they ex- 
plain, beginning the apodosis with nS], " non erit super ipsos imher 
ipsorum, s. quod imhris vicem ipsis prcpstat," or they understand nS] 
interrogatively ; " et sifamilia yEgypti non nscenderit et non venerit, 
annon erit super eos plaga ? " &c. But the prophet, in naming the 
Egyptians as an individual example of one people, who should be 
visited with the punishment of withholding of rain, probably thought 
but little, whether this special punishment, which is here to be re- 
garded only as an outward exhibition of the punishment in general, 
must have been peculiarly felt by this people on account of the natu- 
ral condition of their land. DH'^i' ^^"^ in this verse must necessarily 
be understood, as in the preceding, from which therefore D^.^n n^n' 


ZECHARIAH Chai-. 14. 286 

must be supplied, and by the plague, no other than that of the with- 
Ijolding of rain. 

V. 19. " This will be the sin of Egypt, and the sin of all the na- 
tions ivho will not go up to celebrate the feast of tabernacles." The 
interpreters mostly explain, " this will be the punishment," &c. But 
this explanation is to be rejected, even for this reason, because 
nxtsn and nxisn never occur simply in the sense punishment of sin, 
as is evident from a more accurate view of the passages cited for this 
idiom, e. g. Gen. 20: 9, Num. 32:23. Besides, according to it, 
the verse would be a mere resumption, contrary to the custom of 
Zechariah, and vvould contain no new thought. The true interpre- 
tation was seen by Jerome, (" Et hoc peccatum maximum erit JEgyp- 
tio, Assyrio, etc., si noluerint (gredi de terris suis et ascendere Hie- 
rusfdem^") and Cyril. Formerly, nations were punished, on ac- 
count of other sins ; now, since the Theocratical dominion of the Lord 
was extended over the whole earth, there is only one great sin, be- 
fore which the rest entirely disappear ; only one cause of the divine 
judgments, the refusal of that reverence which they owe to their 
king, or its root, unbelief. This one sin is their refusal to go up to 

V. 20. "iM this day there will stand on the bells of the horses, Holy 
to the Lord, and there will be pots in the house of the Lord, as the sa- 
crificial bowls before the altar." In the translation of the first mem- 
ber, the interpreters agree, only that several give to mhv??, bells, 
another meaning, either with the Seventy, and Vulg., rein, or with 
others, ornament, or armour, as Luther translates. It is also generally 
acknowledged, that the prophet alludes to the holy plate on the diadem 
of the high priest, whereon, according to Exod. 28 : 26, was engraven 
{et sculpes rhy) " Holy to the Lord," (njn^S ti'l^p.) While, under the 
Old Testament, many things are designated as " holy to the Lord," 
this was the only one which bore the above inscription, and which there- 
fore entirely coincided with that before us ; since it is here by no means 
said, that the bells of the horses will be holy to the Lord, but upon 
the bells of the horses will be, stand engraven, " Holy to the Lord." 
The passages, which prove that it was an ancient custom, particu- 
larly in the east, to hang bells upon horses and mules, partly for use, 
for the same object for which it is done among us, partly for orna- 
ment, have been most diligently collected by Dovgtmus, in the Ana- 
lectis Sacris, p. 297, ed. 2. Thus it is said, e. g. by Diodorus Sic. 
1. 18, ed. VVessel. II. p. 279, in the description of Alexander's fu- 

286 ZECHAKIAH Cuai>. 14. 

neral procession : ciaxs xovg anuvxaq ijfXLovovg liviu k^^xovta jiaaa- 
gag ' txaarog 8i roiirav eaiecpdivcoTO xiXQ^ow^kVM axiffdvia ntu nag hxixrs- 
gav T(ov omyovwv iix^v i^rjgTt]fj,ivov xoidava XQ^oovv. And Nicetas 
Choniates says of the Persians, they sat upon beautiful horses, which 
besides other ornaments xal negirjgirjfAevovg i'xovoi ■tjxsTLxovg xoiSoivug. 
But, with this unanimity, there is nevertheless no little difference of 
opinion. The Jewish interpreters have wandered farthest from the 
truth, (the Jew questioned by Jerome; Jarchi, Kimchi, and Aben- 
ezra,) who, kept back from the true interpretation because this in- 
volved an abolition of the whole ceremonial law, understood the 
words of the consecration of the bells to sacred uses, and of the 
making of holy vessels out of them, in like manner as Grotius, for 
whom the true sense was too deep. He explains ; " Quod cohcerct 
equi tintimiahulis deo sacrabitur, cinctus nempe equorum, qui solebat 
esse ex materia pretiosa ct ornatas gcmmis : Jicbc qui domum rcdibunt 
donaturos teniplo dicit." The untenableness of this explanation ap- 
pears from the circumstance, that Grotius, probably feeling that the 
bells of the horses were a gift too insignificant for the Lord, insensi- 
bly adds to them their whole ornament. It appears still plainer 
from the comparison of the second member, and of v. 21, where the 
discourse is not, as must be expected according to this interpreta- 
tion, of a gift dedicated to the Lord, but of a removal of the dis- 
tinction between lioly and profane. And lastly, it is still farther ob- 
jected that, according to this interpretation, the allusion, which is 
plainly of deep import, to the plate on the forehead of the high priest, 
is converted into a very ordinary allusion. More plausible is another 
interpretation, which is Ibund, e. g., in Mark, " en fore sanctissima et 
ad dei servilulem ac gloriam adkibenda, iii quibus alias antiquitus 
maxima regnabat pi-ofanitas" especially after the embellishment 
which has been given to it by Fels, in the Dissertatio ad Zach. 14, 
20, 21, prcBS. (J. H. Hottinger, Marb. 1711.) After having cited 
several examples of the custom of idolatrous nations, to designate 
persons and things with the image and name of an idol, (comp. 3 
Mace. 2: 21. Acts 28: 11. Grot, on Apoc. 7:3, 13: 16,) he 
shows from passages of the ancients, which are found still more fully 
collected in Brissonius (p. 172, and 340, sq.), and in Thysius (on Justi- 
nus, 1, 10, 5,) that the horses among the Persians were sacred to the 
sun, and then conjectured, relying especially on Curtius, 3. 3, ac- 
cording to whom there were images of idols on the chariot of Jupiter 
(Ormuzd), (" utrumquc ctirrus latus deorum simulacra ix auro argca- 

^ ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 287 

toque expressa decorahant,") that it was the custom among the Per- 
sians, to write the name of their deity on the bells of their horses, 
and thereby to designate them as consecrated to him. He then shows 
how the cavalry, at the time of the prophet, was the pride and the 
strength of the Persians. The sense now, according to him, is, " The 
happy time will hereafter come, when the idolatrous nations-will de- 
vote themselves and all that they have heretofore consecrated to idols, 
to the Lord." But this interpretation also appears on a nearer ex- 
amination, as untenable. The second member, and v. 21, show, that 
the discourse here is not of any thing to be devoted to the Lord, but 
of something to be protected by him. This is also confirmed by the 
reference to the gold plate on the forehead of the high priest. For 
this was by no means a sign invented by man, whereby the high 
priest consecrated himself to God, but it was the symbol of the holi- 
ness, imparted by God out of grace to the high priest, and to him in- 
deed as a representative of the people, as plainly appears from Ex. 
28 : 38, ("And it shall be upon the forehead of Aaron, and Aaron 
bears therefore the guilt of every holy thing which the children of 
Israel consecrate ; and it shall be upon his forehead continually, to 
render them acceptable before the Lord,") according to which this 
symbol implies, the holiness imparted by God, which is in its own 
nature perfect, so that the people so long as this relation continued, 
notwithstanding the deficiency of their own holiness, which defiled 
all their sacred actions, were yet regarded and treated as holy by the 
Lord. The sense accordingly is, " With the symbol of holiness, which 
formerly only the high priest bore, will the Lord at that time adorn 
the horses." . Herein a very deep truth is contained. With the fall 
of man originated the distinction between holy and profane To abol- 
ish this, to give sole dominion to that which is holy, was the design 
of all the divine institutions ; while the prince of this world strove, on 
the contrary, entirely to abolish that which is holy. In order the 
more surely to gain his final purpose, the Lord for a long time suffer- 
ed the contrast to become greater and greater. He separated to 
himself one holy people, in comparison with which, all others were 
profane ; he gave to this people a law in which the separation be- 
tween holy and profane extended from the greatest to the least. He 
contented himself for a long time with only one certain outwardly 
defined province, because otherwise, if both the opposing principles 
had been mingled with one another, the evil would entirely have 
swallowed up the good. With the first manifestation of Christ the 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

last design of God began to approach its realization ; the external 
contrast between the profane and the holy now became less obvious, 
because, by the Spirit of Christ, a far stronger support and aid was 
given to the latter. Both however still continued to exist; even in 
the believer the good does not attain in this life to complete and sole 
dominion. Hereafter, however, when the Lord shall be all in all, a 
time will come when every contrast of the holy and the unholy, every 
impure mixture of both, every distinction of degrees even in that 
which is holy, will cease. The case is analogous, when, according 
to Jer. 31 : 40, the whole valley of corpses shall be nin'S '^')\>, and 
brought within the circumference of Jerusalem. As the first mem- 
ber predicts the conversion of all that is profane into that which is 
holy, so the second, the doing away of the distinction of degrees be- 
tween the holy things themselves. To the most holy vessels, under 
the old covenant, belong the bowls before the altar, the basins, into 
which the blood of the victims was received and then from them 
sprinkled against the altar and poured out at its foot. For of all 
vessels, these were most immediately used for the most holy service 
of the Lord. To the utensils on the contrary, which were the least 
holy, belonged the pots, those, viz. in which the flesh of the victims 
was cooked. For that these are here spoken of, appears from v. 21. 
They were used in the service of man. The Jewish interpreters, 
according to their- opinion of the eternal duration of the ceremonial 
law, for the refutation of which this passage alone, as well as that 
Mai. 1 : 11, is sufficient, must endeavour here also by a forced ex- 
planation to set aside the true sense, which is so unpleasant to them. 
Thus Kimchi remarks, whom Abarbanel follows : '• Verba ezponenda 
sunt de (squali numero craterum et ollarum ; ita vertit Jonathan : 
N'plTDD J\S'JD. Nam quemadmodum plurimi eruni in domo Adonai 
pro sanguine spargendo crateres, {quando permuUi erunt, qui sacriji- 
cahunt ; etenim oames, qui festum celebraturi venient, sacrijicia offe- 
rent,) ita oUcb secundum ojfercntium numcrum augebuntur." Such is 
the nature of this interpretation, that we wonder how several Christian 
interpreters (Vatablus, Drusius, Grotius) could have adopted it. 
That the multitude is the tertium comparationis is an entirely arbi- 
trary assumption ; on the contrary, holiness is plainly enough desig- 
nated as such, by the addition n3nD 'A?'? at D'j"?";)?P, in like manner 
as by the connexion with the foregoing, where the subject of dis- 
course was holiness. Besides, the cooking pots must always have 
been comparatively far more numerous, than the bowls before the 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 289 


altar, and we see not how the former could be compared with the 
latter, in order to represent their number as very great. Lastly, in 
the following verse also, as well as in the first portion of this, the 
discourse does not relate to the increase of the vessels of the temple, 
occasioned by the crowd of those who presented sacrifice, but to a 
conversion of all that is profane into what is holy. Ezekiel, chap. 43 : 
12, 45: 3, expresses by another image the same thought, the doing 
away of all degrees of difference among holy things. The whole 
mountain, upon which the new temple stands, will be the holiest of 
all, Dl^''"Ji^. ^'}\>. 

V, 21. '■'■And every j)ol in Jerusalem and Jiidah will be holy to 
the Lord of Hosts, and all the offerers come and take therefrom, 
and offer therein, and there will be no more a Canaanite in the house 
of the Lord of Hosts in that day." As the pots in the temple will 
be all equally holy with the sacrificial bowls, so all pots in Jeru.salem 
and Judah which heretofore were only clean, not holy, will be equally 
holy, as the pots in the temple. In the last words, several take '^y.l? 
in the sense tnerchant. Thus Jonathan : n^::3 mj; NlJn nu;,' 'T\' ^hy 
StJ'npO " et non crit amplius cxcrcens mercaturam in domo sanctuarii ;" 
so Aquila (who, after .Terome, translates mercator, s/^nogog), Aben- 
ezra, Kimchi, Abarbanel, Grotius ; by far the majority of interpre- 
ters, however, take 'JW-., after the Seventy, as a gentile noun. And 
this interpretation, in comparison with the context and the parallel pas- 
sages, is unconditionally to be preferred. When now the prophet says, 
that, at that time, there shall be no longer a Canaanite in the house of 
the Lord, it necessarily follows, that, at his time, Canaanites were 
found in the house of the Lord. For this reason alone, Canaanites, 
according to corporeal descent, cannot be intended ; since the Gibe- 
onites, whom several interpreters here mention, were not in the tem- 
ple itself, from which all foreigners were kept at a distance with the 
greatest care. We have here rather an instance of tiie idiom, of 
frequent occurrence, whereby the ungodly members of the Theocracy 
themselves, in mockery of the arrogance founded on the outward par- 
ticipation of the same, are designated as heathen, or uncircumcised, 
or especially as Canaanites, or some other heathen people. Circum- 
cision had the power of a seal of the covenant, only when the spiritu- 
al condition, typified by the outward action, actually existed ; where 
this was not the case, the circumcision was considered void. As 
even the Pentateuch speaks of a circumcision of the heart, to which 
outward circumcision bound the Israelites, (comp. Deut. 10 : 16, 30 : 
VOL. H. 37 

290 ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. 

6,) so Jer. 4:4, {" Circumcise your heart, and take away the foreskin 
of your heart, ye men of Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem,") 
and chap. 9 : 25 (" for all the heathen are uncircumcised, and the 
whole house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart,") designates the 
ungodly Israelites as uncircumcised in heart. Ezekiel goes a step 
farther. He designates, chap. 44 : 9, the ungodly priests and Le- 
vites, not merely as uncircumcised in heart, but also in flesh, and as 
sons of the stranger. For that here, by the " uncircumcised," and the 
" sons of the stranger," not heathen properly, as most interpreters 
strangely enough assume, but the ungodly Levites are designated, ap- 
pears, am®ng other reasons, from the fact, that priestly actions, viz. the 
presenting of sacrifices, are attributed to these persons (comp. v. 7 
with V. 15); farther from the DX O in v. 10, which, by these interpreters 
(comp. e. g. B. Rosenm.) is unphilologically translated, yea also, or 
moreove?-, instead ot bi/t ; and lastly, from v. 15 and 16, where, to the 
threatening against the ungodly priests and Levites, contained in v. 
7 — 14, the prediction of a reward for the pious is opposed. Simi- 
lar also is Is. 52 : 1 ; " There shall no more come into thee one un- 
circumcised, and unclean." — Gesenius there also takes " uncircum- 
cised " in a figurative sense, see the proof in Vitringa. Examples of a 
designation of the ungodly by the name of one particular idolatrous peo- 
ple, distinguished by peculiar depth of moral depravity, are the follow- 
ing. Isaiah (chap. 1 : 10) addresses the princes of Israel directly as 
princes of Sodom ; the people, as people of Gomorrah. Zeph. 1:11, 
the destruction of the covenant people is announced by the words ; 
" the whole people of Canaan shall be extirpated." The Chaldee par- 
aphrases very correctly, " toius populus, cujus opera siviilia sunt 
operibus CanancBortim ; " still there lies at the foundation, as is shown 
by what follows, an allusion to the import of the word merchant, which 
is too much magnified by Colin {Spicil. in Zeph. p. 32.) The ap- 
peal to Ezek. 17 : 4, can prove nothing, since there also |jy.3 cer- 
tainly cannot be translated by merchant. Babylon was a second Ca- 
naan. Ezek. 16 : 3, it is said, " Thus saith the Lord to Jerusalem; 
thine origin and thy descent are out of the land of the Canaanites, 
thy father is the Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite." Accordingly, 
the sense of the passage before us can no longer be doubtful. It is 
altogether parallel with such as Is. 4:3, " Whosoever remains in 
Zion, and is left in Jerusalem, he will be called holy." 60 : 21 : " Thy 
people are all righteous." Apoc. 21 : 27 : Kal ov fii] fret'A^,?? dg aiitrjv 
7X(iv xoivGV, xal Ttoiovv /jSilvyfia xnl ipsvdoc. ' fl /^n) ol ysygafjusvoi fv tw 

ZECHARIAH Chap. 14. , 291 

/5t/?Atoj ttJ? ^coijg tov agvlov. 22 : 15 : " t'Sw oixvvsg xal oi (faQfiaxol koX ol 
noQVOt, xal oi (povelg, nag o cpiXwv xai noicov if/svdog. The mixture 
of the pious and ungodly, as it existed in the church of the Old Tes- 
tament, and as it in part still continues in that of the new, with this 
difference, nevertheless, that the dead members who joint hemselves 
to it have no sort of right in it, and participate in none of its bless- 
ings, all of which are received only through faith, is here contrasted 
with the perfect purity of the church in the last days, to be effected 
by the Lord. 

Chap. 9 : v. 24 — 27. 


Daniel employs himself, in the first year of Darius the Mede, with 
Jeremiah, and his spirit is deeply moved, as he reads anew his well- 
known prophecy, according to which, the affliction of the covenant 
people, their servitude, should endure seventy years, after which, their 
return, and the commencement of the rebuilding of the city and the 
temple connected therewith, should take place. The sixty-ninth year 
had now already arrived (comp. Beitr. I. p. 181, ff.) The one chief 
object of the prophecies of Jeremiah (chap. 25 — 29), the overthrow 
of Babylon, had already happened ; the belief in the truth of the di- 
vine prediction in reference to the others, which now approached 
with a rapid step, and whose germ already existed, had therefore, in 
the visible state of things, a ground of support. Daniel was far from 
doubting the divine promise. But the less he doubted, the more 
firmly he trusted the mercy of God, the deeper he understood the 
divine justice, (for even this required the fulfilment of the promise, 
when it had once been given), so much the more did he feel himself 
impelled to intercede for the people, the temple, and the city of the 
Lord. The true naggrjola in prayer to the Lord flows indeed from 
the conviction, that we pray xuta to d^ilvifia aviov. The more defi- 
nite the promise, the stronger the faith, and the more heartfelt the 
prayer. Daniel knew that the Lord would be supplicated for that, 
which he had already declared himself willing to give, (Jerome : in 
cinere ct sacco postulal impleri quod promiserat deus, non quod cssct 
incredulus futurorum, sed ne securitas negligentiam, et negUgentia 
pareret offensam,) — as in the Psalms we constantly perceive, that 
the assurance of divine help, embraced with living faith, is always 


followed by new supplications for the actual bestowment of the prom- 
ised blessing. He at the same time reflected, that indeed the that 
and the when of the beginning, stood irrevocably firm ; but in refer- 
ence to the hoio and the when of the completion, the Lord had left 
himself free ; and that in this respect, therefore, it was well worth the 
pains to address to the God, who heareth prayer, to whom belongs 
not a dead necessity, but a living freedom, the prayers, which he 
himself had excited in his heart. Daniel therefore sends up to the 
Lord, for the forgiveness of sins, for the restoration of the Theocracy, 
a prayer full of power and unction, whose spirit, like that of all prayer, 
which really deserves the name, is, " we do not present before thee 
our prayer, on account of our own righteousness, but of thy great 
mercy." The prayer is heard by him who had given it, and Ga- 
briel, the mediator of all revelations, (comp. p. 25,) receives the com- 
mand to impart to the waiting prophet the decree determined in 
heaven. The speediness of his coming indicates a joyful message. 
This is as follows. As a compensation for the 70 years in which 
the people, the city, and temple have be^ entirely prostrate, 70 weeks 
of years, seven times 70 years of a renewed existence, shall be se- 
cured to them by the Lord ; and the end of this period, far from 
bringing the mercies of God to a close, shall for the first time be- 
stow them on the Theocracy in their complete and full measure. 
With it, the finished forgiveness of sins, the introduction of everlast- 
ing righteousness, the actual conferring of the saving blessings, which 
the prophets promise, the anointing of a holy of holies, coincide. 
This general view, contained in v. 24, is followed, v. 25 — 27, by a 
more accurate detail, the date of the terminus a quo, the division of 
the whole period into several smaller, with a determination of the char- 
acteristic mark of each, the divine blessing, by which it is distin- 
guished, the determination of the person by whom the last and great- 
est benefit shall be obtained, and of those, to whom it belongs, with 
the exclusion of those, for whom it is not destined. 1, As the ter- 
minus a quo of the 70 weeks, the command of God to rebuild the 
cfty, in its ancient extent and glory, is given, different from the 
terminus ad quern of the prophecy of Jeremiah, as this relates only to 
the return from captivity, and the first beginning of the rebuilding of 
the city necessarily connected therewith. The intermediate time be- 
tween this termimis of Jeremiah, and that of Daniel, is not reckoned 
to the covenant people, with the same liberality with which the for- 
mer intermediate condition, the 18 years from the fourth year of 


Jehoiachim to the destruction of the city and temple, were included 
in the 70 years of affliction. 2. The whole period is divided into 
three smaller, 7, C2 and 1 week. The close of the first is distin- 
guished by the completion of the rebuilding of the city ; that of the 
second, by the appearing of an Anointed One, a Prince ; that of the 
third, by the finished confirmation of the covenant with the many for 
whom the saving blessings designated in v. 24, as belonging to the 
end of the whole period, are destined. This last period is again di- 
vided into two halves. While the confirmation of the covenant ex- 
tends through it, from beginning to end, the cessation of the sacri- 
fice and meat-offering, and the death of the Anointed One, on which 
this depends, fall in the middle of it. 3. As the author of the saving 
blessings completed in the end of the 70 weeks, a Messiah, a Prince 
appears ; who, after having in the end of the 69 weeks, from the ter- 
minus a quo entered upon his office, and throughout the half of the 
70th week confirmed the covenant with many, dies a violent death, 
by which sacrifices and meat-offerings are made to cease, while the 
confirmation of the covenant continues even after his death. 4. The 
saving blessings to be bestowed through the Anointed One, are not 
destined for the whole people ; on the contrary, the greater part of 
them, after being excluded for the murder of the Anointed One, 
from his kingdom and blessings, will become a prey of the host of a 
foreign prince : which, an instrument in the hands of an avenging 
God, will utterly destroy the fallen city, and the polluted temple. 

The whole annunciation is of a consoling import, even that part 
of it, which relates to the destruction of the city and the temple, and 
which the more necessarily belongs to the whole, the more uniformly 
the prophets combine with the highest manifestation of the divine 
mercy the highest manifestation of the divine justice against those 
who despise the former. The purifying judgments of God are for 
his church, a blessing ; for his believers, a joy. Comp., besides the 
passages already cited on Zech. 13 : 7., Is. 65 : 13, 14 ; 66 : 24. 
Mai. 3 . 21, Luke 21 : 28. 2 Mace. 6:13: xal lo fiij nolvv xQovov 
dua&ui Tovg dvaai^oiiVTag, aAA' iv&ms ntqininjtiv inirifiloig, fj,£yccXr]g 
tvagysalag aij^tlov iari- a. j. A. Daniel had not indeed prayed for the 
obdurate and ungodly, but for those, who heartily joined with him in 
the penitential confession of sin. These are the only objects of all 
promises, and of the tender concern of the prophets. Daniel njourus 
over the destruction of the city and the temple by the Chaldeans. 
For by that, the outward Theocracy, which still existed, was in part 


done away. Only in that respect, is tiie destruction of the city and 
temple the object of his complaint ; only on that account does he 
pray for their restoration, comp. v. 15 — 19. It was entirely differ- 
ent in respect to the destruction here described. What could the 
prediction of the ruin of the outward temple contain in itself that was 
distressing, since it is accompanied by that of the anointing of a new 
holy of holies ? What the cessation of the dominion of the Anointed 
One over the covenant people, since it is accompanied by the con- 
firmation of the covenant for the many, who alone were dear to the 
prophet? What the abolition of sacrifices, since that which it partly 
only prefigured, and partly outwardly procured for the outward The- 
ocracy, the forgiveness of sin and justification, should be first really 
and perfectly procured by the same event, whereby the sacrifice was 
done away? We now lament over the downfall of the Evangelical 
Church, as Daniel over the Chaldaic desolations. But, who of us 
would continue this complaint, if the Lord had made all new, 
and abolished all outward churches? Who would indeed bewail 
the loss of the maxn aToi%eti/., the corpse, from which the spirit had 
departed 1 

The divine ans-wer, according to the representation given, stands 
in the closest relation to the prayer of Daniel. This needs, in refer- 
ence to V. 24, to be shown, in opposition to Michaelis ( Uber die 70 
Jahrtvochen, p. 12 ff.) and Jahn, ( Vaticc. Mess. II. p. 124,) who, by 
misapprehending this relation, have been led to the most violent 
changes of the text. They afiirm, that the inquiry is concerning the 
people, city, and temple ; the answer, concerning the Messiah, ac- 
cording to the existing text. Daniel prays, that the captivity might 
come to an end at the termination of the 70 years predicted by Jere- 
miah. The answer must, in any event, refer to the same 70 years, 
and either promise, or produce the end of the captivity, after they 
have run their course. But these assertions rest on a pure mistake. 
Daniel was led to make his prayer by reading the prophecy of Jere- 
miah. But where do we find a word to show that he had prayed for 
the restoration in precisely the year designated by Jeremiah ? His 
prayer was entirely limited to the restoration of the people, city, and 
temple ; he nowhere makes mention of a time. That the question 
related merely to the outward restoration, is just as erroneous, as that 
the answer referred only to the Messiah. The chief supplication of 
Daniel relates to the forgiveness of sins, comp. v. 19. And as this, 
according to the uniform prediction of all the prophets, would first 


be vouchsafed most completely by the Messiah, so (he prayer for it, 
included in itself, that for the coming of his kingdom. The predic- 
tion of the forgiveness of sin, to be effected by the Messiah, stands in 
close connexion with the confession of sin in v. 5. That the answer 
does not speak of the people, city, and temple, who can assert, 
since it begins immediately with the words, " 70 years are determin- 
ed upon thy people, and upon thy holy city," which predicate pre- 
supposes the existence of that which made the city holy, the temple? 
How could Daniel's prayer for the restoration well be more signally 
answered, than by the annunciation, that it should not merely hap- 
pen in general, but should also endure through so long a period ? 
Exactly as, in chap. 10 — 12, the disclosures, which Daniel suppli- 
cates, in consequence of a special mournful event, respecting the fu- 
ture condition of the covenant people, far surpass his prayer. That 
the prediction, that at the end of 70 weeks, those greatest of all 
blessings should be bestowed upon the covenant people and upon the 
holy city, presupposes its continuance during this time, was seen by 
the older interpreters ; for their neglect of whom, Michaelis, Jahn, and 
others, have had to suffer. Thus e. g. Frischmuth remarks, in the 
Thes. Theol. Philol. I. p. 905 : "Scopus angeli est indicare, ccquid sit 
populo et urhi futurum, nempe hanc recedificandam, et populum, qui 
70 annis exilio hcBserat, suam politiam habiturtim, et qiiidem septuplo 
diutius, quam in exilio egci'at." And what, in v. 24, is intimated merely 
as a grand sketch, in accordance with his design, is farther carried 
out in the following verse. That the answer must refer especially to 
the terminus ad quern given by Jeremiah, can be required only by 
the false supposition, that Daniel had doubts, whether God would ad- 
here to this. If he were certain of this, which could not be other- 
wise, he only needed instruction concerning the far greater and more 
important matters, with which the answer is concerned. 



Versk 24. 

" Seventy weeks are cut off upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, 
to shut up transgression, and to seal up sin, and to cover guilt, and 
to bring everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophet, 
and to anoint a holy of holies." 

" Seventy Weeks" 

The word loeeks is here masc. in form and construction, while it is 
elsewhere commonly fern. This has given a welcome pretext to 
those, who wished to change the text, and led those, who retain it, 
to several erroneous opinions. Thus Bertholdt (p. 646.) asserts, that 
the masc. form, elsewhere not used, has been chosen here only on ac- 
count of the similarity of sound, with D^'Dty, not considering, that 
jmB' not only here, v. 27, which might indeed be explained by the 
influence of the use of the masc. form in the verse before us, but also 
chap. 10 : 23, occurs as masc. in respect to form and construction, 
without any reference to D^'iOK'. Ewald (p. 319.) asserts an en- 
tirely arbitrary confounding of the gender, as is often the case in later 
writers. But we can only have recourse to this supposition, when 
the assumption, on which it rests, of the elsewhere exclusively femi- 
nine gender of this word, is established by a thorough investigation. 
This, however, is by no means the case ; that the word was originally 
masc. appears on the contrary, from Gen. 29:27, HNI i^.3!if xbo, 
" Make-full the week of this one, first celebrate with her the festival of 
seven days." The masc. form, which here occurs in a word in which 
the gender is so little included in the idea, shows that it was origin- 
ally regarded as masc. In these words, however, in which the fem. 
is only ideal, and more or less arbitrary, we still discover almost uni- 
formly traces of the original masc. This coexistence of both gen- 
ders must be supposed in the word before us, the more because it is 
properly a participle septcmized. In attributive words, however, 
whether adjectives or participles, the gender is regularly expressed 
in the form ; comp. Ewald, p. 308 ; so that the existence of the masc. 
form V}lt implies also that of the masc. gender. i'O*^ with the 
plur. D^J^.p^? is a septcmized period, n>'m^% of which the plur. nil'.p!^ 
is a septemizcd time. In both cases nj' is properly to be supplied, 

VOL. u. 38 


and there is less occasion to assume a determination of the gender, 
since in this word it is still doubtful. How little i^nti^ and ^V?^ 
has laid aside its nature as an attributive, appears from Ezek. 45 : 
21, where the passover is called D'n^ ni'?'^ jn, "the feast of the sep- 
temized (periods) of days;" the feast, where the days are divided into 
septemized periods, where, during seven days, unleavened bread is 

In favor of pla.cing the numerals last, a circumstance, from which 
in like manner an argument has been drawn, to render suspicious 
the correctness of the text, numerous examples are found in the num- 
bers from 20 lo 90, comp. Gesen. Lehrg. p. 698. It may here well 
have been occasioned by the effort to render prominent the antithesis 
of the "weeks of years" with the "years" of Jeremiah. The usual 
position of words is departed from, when a word is to be rendered 
emphatic ; comp. Ewald, p. 633. 

But what justifies us in understanding by the weeks, weeks of years, 
periods of seven years? One reason, which interpreters usually bring 
forward, viz. that the prophet, while, chap. JO : 2, he designates the 
usual weeks, as weeks of days, himself intimates, that he speaks be- 
fore of another sort of weeks, appears, as Sostmann, De 70'Hebdom. 
Lugd. 1710, has already shown on a nearer examination, as untena- 
ble. It is there said, " I, Daniel, mourn ;" D^p; D^i'.?"^ ntyiSK>. 
That we must not here translate, " three weeks of days," but " three 
days long," that □'•p^ is the same, which is very often subjoined to the 
determinations of time in order to show that they are accurate even to 
the day, is evident from the sfat. ahsol. D';,^?'^*. The chief ground 
is rather the reference to the 70 years of Jeremiah. From this we 
learn, that 70 ordinary weeks cannot be intended. For, what sort of 
a consolation would it have been for Daniel, if it had been announced 
to him, that, as a compensation for the 70 years of desolation, the city 
should continue 70 ordinary weeks, until a new destruction 1 More- 
over, Daniel himself could perceive, that the discourse did not refer 
to ordinary weeks, from the variety of the events, which should occur 
within the period. But, if the weeks spoken of were extraordinary, 
he would be the more compelled to regard them as weeks of years, 
since these weeks occupy so important a place in the Mosaic consti- 
tution, and since the exile had brought them anew into lively remem- 
brance, inasmuch as the 70 years' desolation was considered as a 
punishment for neglecting to celebrate the sabbatical years ; comp. 2 
Chron. 36:21. It is true, that these periods of seven years in the 


law are not called D''J^?K' or nu'ptt', but that they were nevertheless 
to be considered as weeks, appears from the frequent designation of 
the 7th year, as the great Sabbath, or as the Sabbath simply ; comp. 
Lev. 25 : 2, 4, 5, 26:34, 35 : 43, 2 Chron. 36 : 21. The obscurity, 
which perhaps would have still remained, has been removed by the 
fulfilment. We cannot fail to perceive, that the more indefinite de- 
termination of time, the import of which must have been more con- 
cealed, as it lay in the word itself, was intentionally chosen, in order 
not to destroy the boundaries between prophecy and history. The 
effort to avoid, on the one hand, an uncertain indefiniteness, 
which might be made an objection against the divine origin of the 
prophecy, and prevent its aim ; and, on the other, the destruction of 
its proper relation to history ; appears throughout in this section, and 
has been in a wonderful manner realized. An entirely analogous 
example of a determination of time, indefinite in itself, but rendered k • t 

definite by the aid of history, is found in Xee^arrah himself, chap. O Ou-saA-^ 
4, v. 20; comp. Beitr. I. p. 112 ff. But what induced the prophet 
to choose precisely this measure of time 1 In the first place, this 
very effort after concealed definiteness. This, in respect to what was 
concealed, could not be realized, if he used the ordinary mode of 
reckoning ; if he gave the number of the years, which would elapse 
before the given terminus ad qucm. And it could be just as little 
effected, in reference to the definiteness, if he had chosen an other- 
wise entirely unknown, and arbitrarily invented measure of time ; 
such an one, perhaps, as the prophetic years of Bengel. It might 
then have been replied, that it were very easy to give such determina- 
tions of time, which were rendered definite solelij by the fulfilment. 
Another ground is furnished in its relation to the TO years of Jere- 
miah. It was very important in respect to the relation of the divine 
mercy to the divine anger, that, to the 70 years, which, according to 
v. 2, should be completed upon tlie ruins of Jerusalem, there should 
be placed, in opposition, a 70 of another sort; multiplying the 70 
years by 7, to be enjoyed by the city after it should be rebuilt. And 
besides, 7 and 70 were perfect and sacred numbers, and the more 
adapted to the divine chronology, as the remembrance of the creation 
of the world was connected with them. Lastly, the choice of this 
determination of time with reference to the year of Jubilee, cannot 
well be doubted. Seven weeks of years lasted the cycle, in the end 
of which fell the civil restitutio in integrum; all debts were remitted ; 
nil slaves emancipated : t!ie alienntod lands restored to their 


ors. The last of 70 weeks of years, is the highest of all Sabbaths, 
the time of the spiritual restitutio in integrum, the removal and the 
expiation of all guilt.* 

^' Are cut off" 

Here, the apparent anomaly of the number first requires an inves- 
tigation. It is explained by the circumstance, that the 70 Hebdo- 
mades here come under consideration, not as particulars, but as 
one whole, i. q. di period oil Q Hebdomades is determined. Analo- 
gous, e. g., is Gen. 46 : 22, " this the sons of Rachel," ^pj^:'? nb^ -itt{X, 
not the individual sons with the .individuals, but the whole posterity 
of Jacob by Rachel, is contrasted with that by the remaining wives ; 
comp. 35 : 26, Jer. 44 : 9 : " Have ye forgotten the wickedness of 
the kings of Judah?*" viyj nij^'n nxi. The stress is here laid not on 
the individual kings, as such, but on the whole body of them, Eccles. 
2: 7, "men-servants, and maid-servants," '•'? n^n n;;5 ''J31. In all 
these cases, precisely the opposite of the rule occurs, (comp. Ewald, 
p. 640.) " Nouns in the singular can be joined, according to their im- 
port, with the plural, when the object consists of individual, inde- 
pendent members, particularly persons." In such cases, the fern, 
sing, regularly stands. Where, instead of this, as in the cited passa- 
ges, and in that before us, the sing. masc. is placed, a reason for it 
can always be shown. Thus, Gen. 1. c, Eccles. 2, Jer. 44, the inap- 
propriateness of joining male individuals with the f em. ; in the passage 
before us, because the author did not consider the 70 weeks as an 
abstract, for which the fern, is the distinguishing form, but because 
there was before his mind a definite noun, time, or space, comp. ny. 
as masc. 11 : 14. Perfectly corresponding is Eccles. 1: 10. D'oSirS 

The meaning of the an. kty. 'ijnn is sufficiently ascertained, by a 
comparison of the Chaldaic and Rabbinic '^jnn, to cut off. True, 

* There are to be found also in heathen writers, traces of a similar mode of 
reckoning-. Marcus Varro, after he had developed, in the first of his books, 
called Hchdomades, the- significancy of the number 7 in natural things, (in 
4. 1 1 ; the extract in Gellius, 3. 10,) subjoins, " se quoquc jam duodecimam anno- 
rum hcbdomadam ingressum esse, et ad eum diem septuaginta hebdomadus lihro- 
rum coriscripsisse." Here also, as in Daniel, the choice of this mode of reckon- 
ing rests on definite grounds ; partly on the preceding exhibition of the impor- 
tance of the number 7, partly on an intentional combination of the 7 years, and 7 


J. D. Michaelis asserts {Uber die 70 Wochen, p. 42.), that this Chal- 
daic and Rabbinic '^inn might very well have been derived from the 
passage before us ; but this supposition would then only be probable, 
if the word there, as in the Targum, Esth. 4 : 5, was used only in 
the figurarive sense, to decide, resolve. This might have been con- 
jectured in the passage before us, from the connexion. As, however, 
^nn occurs also in the literal sense to cut off, (comp. D'pm'n, partes, 
portione.s, pars secta et abscissa, "itf^ Sty nDTin according to the 
Miklal^Jophi , incisio carnis,) which could in no way be inferred from 
this passage, the suspicion seems to be groundless. Several interpre- 
ters also assume, that to cut off, here stands precisely for, to resolve, 
appealing to the fact, that the verbs of abscission in the Shemitish 
languages are not unfrequently used in the sense of determination, 
(comp. examples, among others, in Gesen. Thes., s. v. it J.) Thus 
the Seventy : ijSdo^u^novTa (^doi.tuSfg ix Qi&'ri a av inl tov Xaov aov. But 
the very use of the word, which does not elsewhere occur, while 
others, much more frequently used were at hand, if Daniel had wish- 
ed to express the idea of determination, and of which he has else- 
where, and even in this portion, availed himself; seems to argue, that 
the word stands here from regard to its original meaning, and rep- 
resents the seventy weeks in contrast with a determination of time 
iv nXdiH, as a period cut off from subsequent duration, and accurately 
limited. Thus was the word understood by Theodotion, who trans- 
lates it by Gvvsrnrj&i]aav. It is true, that Theodoret, in commenting 
upon the translation of Theodotion, asserts, that awiijirHv here has 
the meaning of determining {avv8Tfj.i]&rjaav, avzl tov idoxifiuaS^ijaav 
y.ul ixQl&'t]anv ' ovio) yag Tivsg sg^rjvivroiv eydsdcaxaaiv), and this asser- 
tion has been repeated by modern critics, as beyond all doubt, (comp. 
e. g. Schleusner, Thes., s. v., and Von Colin, in the Analckten, 3. 2, 
p. 38). But it is entirely wanting in proof, from the usage of pro- 
fane writers, as well as of the Greek translators. Kypke, on Rom. 
9 : 28, has shown that awii^vsiv has always the sense circumcidere, 
abbreviare , never that of decernere, chcidere. In this sense, the Vul- 
gate, also, (70 Hebdomades abbreviatcB sunt super populum tuum,) 
takes the Hebrew and Greek expression. A shortened time, is a 
time accurately determined and limited. 


" Over thy people, and over thy holy city." 

The words K^np l']^ are considered as a compound noun, and the 
sujf. relates, therefore, to the compound idea. Cases like this, where 
the suff. relates, not to God, but to Daniel, show very plainly, that trans- 
lations like that of ^^1\>~'^\1 in Ps. 2:6, by " mountain of my holi- 
ness," are not justified even by the addition, " literal." Among the 
Jews, the ignorance of this construction, which always occurs when 
the second noun describes only an attribute of the first, and there- 
fore serves only to complete the idea, — corap. e. g. Prov. 24: 31, 
n^33X n-T.4, " her stone wall," Eccles, 12: 5, inSj; n'3, " his everlast- 
ing house," Is. 64 : 10, Neh. 9 : 14, — has been the occasion of even 
doctrinal absurdities. They conclude, from Is. 56: 7, where the Lord 
calls the temple 'ri-?3n n'D. that God himself prays. 

Why is Jerusalem called the holy city of Daniel ? After Theodor., 
Chrysost., Jerome, Vitringa remarks, " Non mecB sed tuce, quod in- 
dignationis divincB argumentum eat, peccatis populi nondum expiatis. 
But by this interpretation, an entirely foreign element is introduced 
into the context ; the richer the blessings, which the Lord in this 
verse promises to his people, the less suitable is such a designation. 
. The correct view is rather that of Ch. B. Michaelis, and others; the 
thy intimates the tender love of Daniel towards his people, as express- 
ed in the preceding prayer. This love compelled Daniel to interces- 
sion, and this latter is in v. 23, represented as the occasion of the 
decree, which is here revealed to Daniel ; so that the thy, at the same 
time, reminds him of this occasion, comp. 12: 1. 

*' To shut up transgression." 

In the word xbriS is combined a double reading, which the inter- 
preters have overlooked. The points do not belong to the Kethih, 
which is rather to be pointed ^'^ZiS, but to the Keri. That such a 
supposition is not by any means, in general, to be rejected, appears 
from the following remarks. When the difference between the re- 
ceived reading, and the supposed emendation, consisted only in the 
vowels, the Masorites did not write in the margin the consonants of 
the latter, which coincided with those of the former. They indicated 
a double reading by another method, which varied indeed according 
to circumstances. 1. Where the word itself, or the context, did not 


distinguish as such the vowels of the marginal reading, which were 
placed under the reading of the text, where, therefore, entirely against 
their principle, the marginal reading, if they had simply placed under 
its points, would havs appeared as the only one, they gave to the 
word a mixed punctuation, taken from both readings. An example of 
this is furnished by <^iy. Ps. 7 : 6. The reading of the text was here 
^Tl], as fut. in Pi. The Masorites chose to read instead, the Jut. 
in Kal ^"^y., because Kal, in the sense to persecute, is far more fre- 
quent than Pi., which, however, as an intensive form, was particu- 
larly suitable here, where the most violent, repeated, and unceasing 
persecution was to be designated. That the word combined in itself 
a twofold punctuation was sufficiently indicated by the form, which, 
without this supposition, was a grammatical absurdity. In several 
manuscripts, whose authors were bolder thnn the Masorites, pre- 
cisely the form '^1'!^ occurs. Another example is •in?f'^n., Ps. 62 : 4, 
in many editions and manuscripts. The reading of the text is here 
irivfnn, as a rarer form of the fut. PL, with the rejection of Dagesh, 
the place of which is supplied by the lengthening of the preceding 
vowel; the marginal reading =in2fnn, as the usual fut. in Pi. Also 
Ps. 80 : 11, in IDD, properly no form at all, a double reading is com- 
bined ; that of the text 103, praet. Kal ; that of the margin ^DD, 
preet. Pi. The Massorites were led to their supposed emendation, 
by a misunderstanding of the construction which necessarily requires 
the intransitive Kal (instead of " the mountains were covered with 
its shadow," they explain, " its shadows covered the mountains," 
with an inadmissible understanding of Sv; as a collective), and also 
by the fact, that HDD in Kal does not elsewhere occur in the Prae- 
ter. In the manuscripts, this combination of a double pointing is still 
more frequent than in the editions ; comp. Michaelis, Or. Bibl. III. 
p. 236, Ewald, p. 489. 2. Where, from the context, or from the word 
itself, the vowels could be known as not belonging to the reading 
of the text, the Masorites simply place them under it. An example 
is furnished Ps. 59: 11. The reading of the text is npn 'hSk 
""^P.^PJ. fl^us mens, gratia ejus praiveniet me. The Masorites 
preferred to read ''J^I'^P? ""790 "'n'^.5?, •' my gracious God will prevent 
me." They gave now to ^vhii. precisely the points of the marginal 
reading, because every one immediately saw, that, on account of the 
following n?n, these did not suit the reading of the text. — To this 
last class belongs the case before us. The verb vh^ never occurs 
in Piel ; it was sufficient, therefore, to give to the word the vowels of 


Piel, in order to show, that, along with the usual reading, sufficiently 
indicated by the form itself, there was another, which pointed the 
form according to its derivation from x^D = n^D. 

We now investigate the sense which both readings give. All 
senses of the verb iihD unite in that of hindering, restraining, and 
limiting. From this general meaning, that of shutting up, and lock- 
ing up, is easily derived. This is found, e. g. Ps. 88 : 9, "I am 
shut up, X'l'??, and cannot go forth." Jer. 32 : 2, 3, xV.? n^3. and T\'3 
NlSsn has the meaning prison. The interpreters here, for the most 
part, adopt the general meaning, that transgression shall be controll- 
ed. The special meaning, to shut up, however, agrees better with 
the following, to seal, and to cover. The sealing presupposes a shut- 
ting up. 

The marginal reading, " to finish trangression," can be explained 
in two ways ; either " to fill the measure of sin," comp. Gen. 15 : 16, 
Matt. 23 : 32 {vfislg nlrjgojaaxe to ixetqov iwv nuxigoiv vfnav), or, " to 
make an end of sin." Admitting the correctness of the marginal 
reading, the latter explanation should unquestionably be preferred. 
For, as we shall afterward see, the discourse, throughout the whole 
verse, relates only to blessings, and not to punishments. 

If now we inquire, which of the two readings is preferable, we 
must unquestionably decide in favor of that of the text. An impor- 
tant advantage in its favor is derived even from the general relation 
of the marginal readings to those in the text. A more careful ex- 
amination shows that the Keris, with few exceptions, are mere sud- 
den thoughts of illiberal Jewish critics, and therefore have no more 
external authority than the conjecture of a Houbigant, and J. D. 
Michaelis. The decision of Danz is almost perfectly justified 
(Litter. Heir. Chald. p. 67.) : " No7i datur TT\3, quod exercitatis ac 
omnia accurate perpendentibus non pariat sensum commodum ; quid- 
quid huic sub nomine "''(p quocunque pratextu superadditur, inventum 
est mere humanum et uliam penes me notam non invenit, quam inter- 
pretationis ut plurimum satis fcliciter institutoi, subinde tamen temere 
et in ignominiam sacri scriptoris susceptce." Here, however, there 
is the less reason to suppose an external authority, as the ground of 
the Keri, since the difference consists merely in the vowels, as the 
Masorites themselves did not venture to substitute hSd for nSd, 
but only, by their punctuation, to express the opinion, that vHd 
here stood for T^^D ; a mere exegetical conjecture, which is not 
raised to any higher dignity by its appearing to have been entertain- 


ed by the ancient translators, (Aquil. and Theod. tov avvtsXiaai. 
Seventy, avvTslsa&iiviu jt]v uftagTiav) ; especially, as its origin can 
be so easily explained. In the expression, which does not elsewhere 
occur, " to restrain," or " shut up sin," they found great difficulty ; the 
meaning, to finish, seemed admirably to suit what followed, as well 
according to the marginal reading, as that in the text. For those, 
also, who followed the latter, unanimously explained the sealing, by 
ending, completing. What, however, especially favored the marginal 
reading, was the effort of the Jews, which is seen in their interpre- 
ters almost without exception, to convert the promises of the verse threatenings ; which was altogether natural, since they well 
knew the punishments, which ensued at the end of the 70 weeks of 
years, but not the blessings, and therefore must have been desirous 
to do away the references to the latter. Even Aquila translates, in- 
stead of" upon," &:.c. x«tw, contra, tov kuov aov xixl rijg nolswg ttJq 
aylotg aov, and, corresponding with this, the following, toU avvTiUaoa, 
T1JJ' a&salav xal tov jsXeimaaL u^iuQxiav. 

That the prophet has used nSd in the sense of hSd, could be es- 
tablished only by certain proofs, as hSd is often found in him, and 
constantly with n (comp. v. 27, 11 : 36, 12 : 7), and as, in general, 
the roots with n much more seldom borrow forms from those with 
^, than the reverse, (comp. Ewald, p. 453,) so that we cannot ap- 
peal to the forms of xSd frequently borrowed from tHd. nh»3 is never 
found with N. The proofs therefore must consist solely in the inter- 
nal advantages of the marginal reading. These, however, cannot 
be found, any more than the external. The admirable suitableness 
of shitting lip, sealing, covering, to one another, decides in favor of 
the reading of the text. Sin, which hitherto lay naked and open be- 
fore the eyes of the righteous God, is now by his mercy shut up, 
sealed, and covered, so that it can no more be regarded as existing; 
a figurative designation of the forgiveness of sin, analogous to those, 
where it is said, " to conceal the face from sin, and cause it to pass 
away," &,c. 

" And to seal sin." 

The sealing is here, by several interpreters, taken as a figurative 
designation of completing or finishing. So Theod. iacpQayias 8k rag 
afjLttQTiag, nuvaug fisy rt/V xaia royov nohniuv, t»)v ds tov nriv/j^aTOg 
doigrjaotfiivog x'^Qi'V- Several ancient interpreters reject the trope thus 

VOL. n. 39 


understood, while Theodotion retains it. So the Seventy, rag 
adixiag wnavlaai; Aquila, nal tov ifXncoaai aftngiio:!' ; Vulg., " ut 
consummetur prcBvaricatio." That these translations are to be thus 
explained, and not, perhaps, as is commonly done, from a various 
reading, most evidently appears from the fact, that the Seventy in 
the following Dnrj also, where no trace of a various reading is found, 
again reject the trope (x«t avvTiX^aQ^iivai r« oQctfjiaja x«t Tr^oqpTjr?;!'), 
as also does the Vulg., et impleatur visio et propheta, while Theo- 
dotion, adhering to his verbal mode of rendering, translates xixl tov 
aq)Qnyiatti oqaaiv nQocp-^Ttjv, which, with exactly the same rejec- 
tion of the trope, is explained by Theodoret, roviion rov doirat. -cilog 
anaanig ralg Tr^oqpjjTitat?,, 

This explanation of sealing, by bringing to an end, is, however, 
untenable. It is true, that this import of Cnn, arising from the 
custom of putting a seal at the end of a letter or writing, is very 
frequently met with in the Arabic. They say, ^ ;Jxjf j^Ai^ 
*UOf *AC>-, oVxSLif j%A2».; comp. a rich collection of exam- 
ples by Franc. Tspregi, Dissert, de Authmtia Sdeciiorum Kt/iibim, 
in Oelrich's Collect. Opnsc. Phil. Tluol. II. p. 153 sq. In Hebrew, 
however, it is never found. And the only passage cited in its favor, 
Ezck. 28 : 12., where r\"'J^rj Dnin is explained by perficiens, ahsol- 
vens pulchritudinem, has been falsely interpreted. rcJDn signifies, 
according to 43 : 10., ground-plot, model. Therefore n'J:?n Dnin, 
a sealer of the ground-plot ; one who has a right to lay aside the 
idea of it, because he himself perfectly represents it. Entirely cor- 
responding with which is the following, where the king of Tyre is 
called " full of wisdom, and^/ijs/jcc/ of beauty." The figurative use of 
Onn in Hebrew, is exclusively taken from the custom lo seal things 
for greater security, which a man has enclosed, or laid aside. Thus 
Job 37 : 7 : " God seals the hand of man ; he shuts it up, so that it 
cannot move." Job 9:7: '■'■ He seals the stars, shuts them up, so 
that they cannot give light." Jer. 32: 11, 14, a sealed, and an 
open book, are contrasted with each other. In like manner. Is. 29 : 
11, Cant. 4: 12, a sealed fountain with an open one. In the book 
before us, we find the outward action, chap. 6: 18, which lies at the 
foundation of the figurative representation, where the king seals the 
den into which Daniel had been thrown ; and the figurative repre- 
sentation itself, chap, 8 : 26, 12 : 4, where the prophecies of Daniel, 
on account of their obscurity, are designated as sealed until the time 


of the fulfilment, as Apoc. 22 : 10. (comp. Beitrdge, I. p. 215.) Just 
as here vh2, to shut up, precedes Dnn, so do, chap. 12 : 4 (" Shut 
up tlie words, and seal the book "), DHD, and, Deut. 32: 34 (" Is it 
not concealed with me, sealed up in my treasure?"). Dp?. Sin, 
therefore, is here described as sealed, because it was to be entirely 
removed from the sight of God, entirely put aside. 

For DnnS we have the marginal reading, the vowels of which 
stand under the reading of the text, Dnn'?, as Infin. in Iliph. from 
Don, to be completed. It owes its origin, most probably, only to the 
rejection of the trope in t!ie ancient translations, which, being misun- 
derstood, the traces of another reading were supposed to exist. 'J'he 
assumption of this reading was the more easy, since the form D.nn^ 
occurs also chap. 8 : 23, and indeed of the completion of sin and 
apostasy, which, for the reasons already given, there was a willing- 
ness to find in the passage before us. It maintained its usurped 
place by the help of the likewise illegitimate xbD^, which again, in 
its turn, was aided by the former. It is true, Hitzig asserts {Stud. u. 
Crit. Jahrg. 1832. I. p. 176.) in its favor, that the circumstance, 
that DnnS follows, makes the Kethib suspicious. But this ground 
is converted into the opposite, when it is considered that the fre- 
quent repetition of the same words, belongs to the characteristic pe- 
culiarities of Daniel. Proofs in abundance are furnished, e. g. by 
chap. 11. They may, indeed, be drawn from the shorter portion be- 
fore us. Thus the roots ^nn and DO'ii' occur in it three times. — 
But even if this marginal reading, which thus wants all support, 
should be taken for the original one; still, we are not, even then, 
compelled to attribute to the words a threatening sense. " To finish 
sin," can mean, " to fill up its measure "; it can also just as well mean, 
"to make an end of it, by forgiveness," corresponding to the expres- 
sion elsewhere used, " to blot out sin," nnn. In this sense Dan occurs 
of sin, e. g. Lam. 4 : 22 : " Thy transgression is blotted out, "jJiy-Dn, 
thou daughter of Zion. — But thy transgression, thou daughter of 
Edom, he will visit." 

Instead of the plur. nixtsn, the sing, nxan is found in not a few 
manuscripts and editions^ in Kennicott and De Rossi. But we are 
surely not justified, with Bertholdt, in giving this reading the prefer- 
ence to that in the text. It probably owes its origin merely to the 
effort to make the word conform to V^j^ and |ijr. The sing. V^^ 
stands also elsewhere along with the plur. nixtan, comp. e. g. Mic. 1 : 
5, Sx^if: n"'3 nixanD^ nxi-SD i'^^: >>»*??, which is explained by the 


circumstance, that I^K*?, apostasy, rebellion, is more of a collective^ 
while naan designates rather the particular manifestation of sin. 

Even if the reading of the text in both members is justly regarded 
as the true one, there would be nothing, so far as the words are con- 
cerned, against understanding the passage in a bad sense. We 
might regard sin as shut up and sealed, by the punishment and ex- 
tirpation of the sinners, just as well as by the forgiveness of sin, as 
Is. 4:4, " By the destructive divine punishment, the filth of the 
daughter of Zion is washed away, and the blood of Jerusalem is re- 
moved from the midst of her." That this interpretation is neverthe- 
less untenable, and that only a divine blessing is intended, the shut- 
ting up and sealing of sin by forgiveness, appears from the following 
reasons. 1. In the second part of the verse, a threefold positive good 
is mentioned, which the Lord at the end of 70 years will impart to 
his church. If we take the first two members in a good sense, the 
removal of a threefold evil corresponds to this imparting of a threefold 
good in the first part. This relation of the two halves, having each 
three members, to one another, must, however, be the more assumed, 
tgince only then would Dnn be found in both halves in the second 
member. With sin, the prophecies also are sealed, because that 
which they predicted as future, as the chief mark of the Messianic 
time, the doing away of sin, has now taken place. This accurate 
correspondence of the twofold Dnn, serves also to protect the first 
against the encroachments of the marginal readings. 2. There can 
be no doubt, but as the threefold designations of sin, which are else- 
where combined, comp. Exod. 34 : 7, above v. 5, must not be sepa- 
rated from one another : so neither must the threefold designation of 
that which is to be done in reference to sin, the shutting up, sealing, 
covering, especially as all three expressions are grounded on the 
same figurative representation of its removal out of sight. If, there- 
fore, it can be proved of one of these expressions, that it can stand 
only in a good sense, this proof serves also for the other two. This, 
now, is perfectly the case with respect to |U' "1.33. This frequent 
expression never designates any thing else than the forgiveness of 
sin, the covering of sin by the veil of mercy, so that the eye of the 
angry Judge cannot find it. 3. The prediction in the first three 
members stands in a close relation to the manifold confession of sin 
in v. 5., and the prayer for forgiveness connected therewith. On ac- 
count of this relation, even if the third member were equally ambigu- 
ous, as the first two, we should prefer to understand it in a good 


sense, because it is not probable, that the angel would have made 
such haste (comp, 22.), in order to announce to Daniel, directly the 
opposite of that for which he had prayed. Only through this predic- 
tion of prosperity, which preceded, did the announcement of the de- 
struction of the city and temple lose its terrors. It now appeared as 
running parallel with the greatest blessings towards the pious mem- 
bers of the Theociacy, and, in so far as it put an end to their present 
mingling with the ungodly, even as a gracious benefit. 

'^ And to cover transgression.'^ 

We adhere, in the translation, to the ground meaning of the verb 
ns J. That regard is had to this, even when it is used of the forgive- 
ness of sin, appears from the usual construction with ^V, and with 
nj^5, and indeed on account of the plain reference of the figurative 
representation in this member, to that in the two foregoing. 

Several interpreters find a climax in the expressions concerning 
the forgiveness of sin, in the three members ; but it is far more cor- 
rect to assume, with Geier, {'Hot hie accumulantur vocabula, ut tota 
peccatorum humani generis colluvies eo melius comprehendereiur,") a 
mere awad^Qoia^og, as is found also e. g. Exod. 34: 7, Levit. 16: 
21. A climax would require that the strongest designation of sin 
should stand last. This, however, if the import of words is accu- 
rately considered, is precisely that which stands first, i';i'£). It de- 
signates sin according to its worst character ; as apostasy from God, 
and rebellion against him, and e. g. Job 34 : 37, " he adds h];_ 
])t£i inx^n, to sin, transgression," is contrasted with nxtan, as the 
heavier with the lighter. The prediction of the forgiveness of sin, 
differs, therefore, in this relation from the confession of sin, v. 5, 
where a climax is actually found. The word Ull^p entirely corre- 
sponding with i>"w!/3, which here first occurs, there comes after UXDn 
^y)].l\. Even a progress from the greater to the less cannot here be 
assumed, since otherwise mNtan, as designating sin according to its 
lightest character, as a failure, must occupy the third place instead 
of the second. 


"And to bring everlasting righteousness." 

Several interpreters, as Dathe, here take pnv precisely as synony- 
mous with prosperity. But we have already (Vol. I. p. 411) shown, 
that this idiom, which some have attempted to establish, particularly 
from the second part of Isaiah, is not there found ; comp. also Klein- 
ert, Isaiah, I. p. 256. Righteousness, where it appears not as an in- 
herent quality, but as a gift of God, always designates the same thing 
on the positive side, as forgiveness of sin on the negative ; the latter 
implies that God, according to his free mercy, will regard men no 
longer as sinners ; the former, that he will regard them as righteous. 
Hence, it necessarily follows, that he will also treat them as such, 
and, consequently, righteousness and prosperity are often combined 
with one another, though the former does not lay aside its proper 
sense. — Righteousness, as a gift of God, (comp. Ps. 85 : 11 - 14, 
where "righteousness looks down from heaven, and goes before God, 
who draws near to his people,") forms a constant characteristic mark 
of the Messianic times. According to Jer. 33 : 16, Jerusalem, at 
the time of the Messiah, shall be called " the Lord our righteous- 
ness" ; according to 23 : 6, the Messiah himself will bear this name. 
According to Mai. 3 : 20, the Sun of righteousness will then arise 
upon those who fear God, i. e. righteousness that beams forth like a 
sun, and healing is under its wings. As " terebinths of righteousness" 
does Isaiah (61 : 3) designate the members of the kingdom of God in 
his time. The procuring cause of this righteousness we learn from 
Is. 53 : 11, according to which, the servant of God, the righteous one, 
shall make many righteous. — This righteousness is here called 
everlasting, on account of its origin from the eternal counsels of the 
everlasting God, as well as on account of its eternal duration, in con- 
trast with the transient gifts of righteousness and grace under the 
old covenant, and with all that is create-d and mutable. This con- 
trast is found, also, in several passages of Isaiah, where the eternity 
of the righteousness and prosperity of the Messianic time, is declared 
in the most emphatic manner. Thus e. g. chap. 51 : 6-8: "The 
heavens will pass away like smoke, the earth grow old like a gar- 
ment, and its inhabitants die like gnats ; but my salvation shall be 
for ever, and my righteousness shall not be destroyed, — my righteous- 
ness shall endure for ever, and my salvation through all generations." 
In like manner, 45: 17, "Israel will be endowed by the Lord with ever- 


lasting prosperity, D"'nSi;; n^r^/n, ye shall not bo ashamed ; or brought 
to confusion in all eternity." 

Our understanding of the words is found, after the example of the 
ancient translators, (The Seventy, xal doSiivm dmatoavvijv alMvtov. 
Theodoret, xal tov uyaytlv dixaio(jvvr}v nmviov. Vulg., " et adc/uca- 
turjuatitia sempiterna." Syr., " quce ab (Eterno est,") in the older in- 
terpreters, almost without exception, only that some, as the R. Bacha- 
rias in Breschit Kabbah on Gen. 14 : 18, by " everlasting righteous- 
ness," understand the person of the Messiah ; the same mistake which 
also occurs with reference to the " Sun of righteousness," Mai. 1. c, 
more, however, affecting the letter than the spirit, as Christ is he, in 
whom the treasure of the righteousness of the New Testament is 
preserved. Essentially different from that which has been given, is 
an explanation, which several recent critics, after J. D. Michaelis, 
have advanced, " the ancient righteousness, the innocence of former 
and better times." Against this, are the following objections. 1. All, 
the reference to the extirpation and expiation of sin predicted in the 
foregoing context ; the connexion with the sealing of the visions and 
prophets, which, as we have already shown, p. 308, especially relates 
to the forgiveness of sin predicted by them ; the collocation with 
blessings, plainly to be sent down from God ; the verb X'^nS ; the 
comparison of the parallel passages of Isaiah ; show that the discourse 
is here of righteousness, not as a subjective attribute, morum probi- 
tas, as also Scl.oll (Comment, de 70 Hcb. Dan. Fft. 1829) explains, 
but as a giit of God ; just as pl'H occurs, besides in the passages cited, 
PvS. 132 : 9, " may thy priests be clothed with righteousness," by thee, 
O God, endowed with the garment of righteousness, " and thy saints 
rejoice," comp. v. 16. 2. The eternity of the Messianic kingdom, 
and its blessings, in the parallel passages of Daniel, where he is spo- 
ken of, are, in precisely the same way, rendered especially prominent ; 
comp. 2 : 44, 7 : 18, 27. 3. It is false, that dSi;? was originally an 
indefinite designation of any longer duration, and that it commonly 
has this meaning, not that o^ eternity. In favor of such an assump- 
tion, it cannot be alleged, that the metaphysical conception of eter- 
nity is foreign to the simplicity of antiquity, and belongs to a later 
period of intellectual improvement. Antiquity had previously ob- 
tained views by immediate intuition, to which the later philosophers 
attained only by a tedious abstraction. In the very ancient Zend 
religion, " time without time," eternity, stands in the front of the 
whole system ; comp. Rhode, p. 186 : " The original being is called 


Zervane Akerene, ' uncreated time,' only in reference to its dura- 
tion, and by way of distinction from all other beings, which were 
created. Altogether in like manner is this original being, in the Schas- 
ter of Brama, called only ' the eternal, he, who is without beginning'. " 
If, then, the idea of eternity, as existing from the beginning among 
th-vise nations, cannot be denied, how much less can it be considered 
as unknown to a people enjoying a revelation, among whom the germ 
of the obscure anticipations of the heart among other people was de- 
veloped by higher communications? In favor of this, as the ground 
meaning of oSiir, is even the etymology of the word. dSij', a noun 
derived from the participial form of the verb dSi' (comp. Ewald, p. 
237), designates properly the concealed, the obscure. Eternity is an 
abyss, before which perception grows giddy ; it, the infinite, is in- 
comprehensible by the finite understanding ; only in figure can a 
man represent it ; concealed is its beginning, its progress, its end. 
" Just as, in a round ball, no beginning, no end is found ; so also, O 
eternity, in thee, we behold neither entrance nor egress." " Thou 
art a ring, infinitely broad ; thy centre is always, thy round circum- 
ference never, because it knows no end." " A little bird might well 
carry away the sand and stone of all the mountains, if he only came 
every thousand years ; thou, eternity, remainest always." " With 
every moment which has already past, I compare many thousand 
thousand years ; nothing compares itself with eternity." ■ — Further, 
it cannot be denied, that dSi^ in the writings of the Old Testament, 
from the most ancient times, occurs in the sense of eternity, accord- 
ing to its full import, comp. e. g. Gen. 3 : 22, 21 : 33 ; Ps. 90 : 2 : 
" Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed 
the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, thou art, O 
God." The 1 is intensive, Ps. 103 : 17, Is. 51 : 6-8, where eternity 
is expressly contrasted with all time, aiid every thing that exists in it; 
40: 28, 03 : 16. On the contrary, the meaning of an indefinite du- 
ration in those passages where, at the first view, it seems to occur, 
completely disappears on a closer examination. These passages fall 
under the following classes, a. In several, the supposition of this 
meaning rests on an entirely erroneous interpretation. This is par- 
ticularly the case in reference to obi;^ in one whole class of Psalms, 
which, as Ps. 18, 21, 61, 89, celebrating the mercies of God, not 
indeed, as rs now for the most part assumed, towards one particular 
individual, but towards the whole royal stock of David personified as 
an individual, are an expression of the emotions called forth in the 


holy songster?, by the word of God, 2 Sam. chap. 7, referring, in 
like manner, to the whole royal house of David. They difTer from 
the proper Messianic Psalms, Ps. 2, 45, 72, 110, only in this re- 
spect: the latter exclusively bring forward the person, in whom the 
prosperity promised to the house of David should most completely 
appear; while the former, adhering more immediately to the ground- 
prophecy, embrace the whole of the prosperity, including its high- 
est completion. That in these Psalms D^;'^. may be taken in its 
full sense, who can deny, without making the kingdom of Christ 
temporary and transient ; and that it must be so taken, we have al- 
ready shown, Vol. I. p. 102. The same may be said of passages, as 
Jer. 6 : 16, 18 : 15, where the doctrine of godliness is designated as the 
everlasting way, ni^'HJ or "''^''^ry, dSi';', not indeed merely as old, 
in antithesis with the new doctrine of the false prophets, bat as eter- 
nal, like its eternal author, in whom it existed before it was revealed 
in time, as appears also from a comparison of Ps. 139: 24, " Lead 
me in the way everlasting." — Truth is earlier than falsehood, be^- 
cause God is earlier than man, and the idols, man's workmanship. 
Nearly the same is true in reference to the passage in Job 22 : 15 : 
" Hast thou indeed considered the everlasting way, which evil-doers 
tread? " The punishment of the ungodly is represented as everlast- " 
ing, because, being grounded in the nature of the everlasting God, it 
existed in substance before the creation of the world, and became 
manifest as soon as it had an object. The same is true of Mic. 5 : 1, 
as we shall show on the passage ; also Exod. 31 : 16, " The observance 
of the sabbath is for Israel XjI^]! rin? ; v. 17, " Between me and the 
Israelites this is a sign dSi;»S" The command respecting the cele- 
bration of the sabbath is so surely not done away by Christ, as he 
himself has declared, that he came not to destroy the law, but to ful- 
fil, and no jot or tittle of the law shall fail. If that which was acci- 
dental and outward has ceased under the New Testament, the ker- 
nel and substance still endure ; nay, the fulfilment of the command- 
ment in its whole compass has now first become possible. — h. In 
other passages, the assumption of the meaning, " an indefinite du- 
ration," arises from not distinguishing between eternity objectively, 
and subjectively, considered. Subjectively, in conception, every pe- 
riod of time can appear as an eternity, which, objectively, is in itself 
by no means such, and which the cool, reflecting understanding is 
far from regarding as such. This eternity, to be measured accord- 
ing to the standard of human perception, is found in all languages ; 
VOL. II. 40 


and if any one, confounding perception or feeling, and reality, e. g. 
if a man, who has not seen his friend for several years, says to him, 
" We have been separated from each other a whole eternity," should 
choose to assert, that eternity actually signifies a period of some years, 
he would make himself ridiculous. Of this class of passages are such, 
e.g., as Is. 42: 14 : oSi^n 'n''"^nn, "I have now already been silent 
a whole eternity ; " 63 : J9, " We are those over whom thou hast not 
reigned from eternity." The time of the exile, though short in itself, 
appears to the suffering people to be an eternity. Ps. 77, (a Psalm of 
deep lamentation over past prosperity,) " I think of the days of anti- 
quity, the everlasting years," the years, which have already been 
past, an eternity. Ps. 73 : 11, 12, " And they say, How does God 
know ; how should knowledge be with the Most High ? See, these 
are the ungodly, and the eternally secure, oSi^' \fit, increase their 
strength." To the pious, the long prosperity of the ungodly appears 
as a whole eternity. Ps. 143 : 3, Lara. 3:6, — c. The case is analo- 
gous, when dSi;' occurs hypci-holically of things to which, if the sub- 
ject alone is regarded, only the predicate of a long duration is suited. 
To infer from these passages, that 0*71;; also could mean a limited 
period, were just as absurd, as if from the expression, " walled up 
to heaven," Deut. 1 : 28, it should be concluded, that " up to heaven " 
designated, among the Hebrews, a height of about one hundred feet. 
Examples are, Is. 63 : 9, " He raised them up and bore them (Israel) 
0/iJ* ""fyr^^, throughout a whole long eternity." The unlimited 
thankfulness removes the limits of time frotn the blessing, and thus 
more effectually shames the ingratitude, which, in order to free itself 
from the burdensome duty of thankfulness, diminishes the favors of a 
benefactor. Mai. 3:4, " And pleasant to him is the offering of 
Judah, as throughout the days of eternity," dSij; 'po, as it has been 
pleasant to him throughout a whole eternity. Not, which is unphi- 
lological, " as of old," so that 'D'^ would signify, " as in the days." 
The hyperbole here has respect to weakness of faith, to which the 
comparatively short time of the withdrawal of the divine mercy ap- 
pears as an eternity. That the time of mercy relates to that of wrath 
in times past, as eternity to a limited period, must strengthen confi- 
dence in this mercy, and hope in the fulfilment of the promise. Mic. 
7: 14, " They feed again upon Basan and Gilead, dSii' 'i?'?." 
Amos 9: 11, "I build the tabernacle of David, as throughout the 
days of eternity," " as I have built it throughout a whole eternity." 
Is. 51 : 9. Hab, 3:6," Before the Lord the ever-enduring mountains 


were scattered, the everlasting hills were made low." The greater 
the power of the vanquished, the more illustrious the conqueror. 
The hyperbolic designation of the duration, and of course, the stead- 
fastness of the mountains, magnifies the power of him before whom 
they are scattered like chaff. Prov. 22 : 28, " Remove not the ever- 
lasting limits." The micient limits are hyperbolically designated as 
eternal, in order to awaken a stronger sacred dread at their removal. 
Is. 61 : 12, " And they build the everlasting wastes" ; ancient wastes 
are designated as eternal, to express the thought, that the time will 
be happier than any which has preceded, and that what had lain 
through a whole eternity in ruins, would be rebuilt ; comp. still Deut. 
32 : 7, Gen. 6 : 4, Jos. 24 : 2, Jer. 5:13, Is. 44 : 7, Eccles. 1 : 10. 
— d. Wishes do not always bind themselves to what is possible, es- 
pecially when it is the object of him who wishes, to give a lively rep- 
resentation of his feelings to him to whom his wishes refer. Human 
expectations and hopes, not grounded on the word of God, must not be 
confounded with divine promises, with which the result always perfectly 
corresponds. For example, the salutations addressed to kings, " The 
king live for ever," 1 Kings 1 : 31, Dan. 2 : 4, 5, 10, C : 22, Neh, 
2:3; the use of which among the Persians, also, is evident from 
iElian., v. Hist. 1. 31. (jjiwdiv ^'Igia^tg^t], 8i alohog ^aadsvoig,) comp. 
Brissonius, 1. 1. p. 16, which should have been adduced in the 
Bciirdgen, among the proofs of the accurate knowledge of the Chal- 
dee-Persian manners in the book of Daniel. Josh. 4:7, " The stones 
shall be memorials for the children of Israel, ^\iV ^i'." Job 19 : 
24, 1 Kings 8 : 13, where Solomon says, " I have built thee a 
house, a place for thy dwelling, D'nSi;'." Solomon expected, that 
the temple built by him would be, to all eternity, the central point of 
the worship of the true God. — c. "Eternally" not unfrequently 
stands where a thing, all other causes of destruction being left out 
of view, is described only in respect to one in particular, as not liable 
to perish. That the word here retains its full meaning, is manifest. 
Eternity is predicted only in a certain relation. As examples, we 
cite the following passages. Gen. 13: 15, "This whole land will 
I give to thee and to thy seed for ever." This promise gave the cove- 
nant people the certain assurance, that the possession of the land of 
Canaan in respect to the giver, should not be temporary. But to 
conclude from this, that the possession would be inalienable by all 
other causes, would have been as hasty, as when one should infer 
from Rom. 8, the impossibility that one, who had been born again, 


could fall from grace. Ps. 104 : 5, 6, " He has established the earth 
on its foundations, it will not be re roved for ever and ever," stands 
only in apparent contradiction to Ps. 102 : 26, 27, " Thou hast es- 
tablished the earth, and the heaven is the work of thy hands. They 
shall cease, and thou remainest." For in the first passage, the om- 
nipotence of God is proved from the fact, that no cause besides him 
could move the earth, which he sustains; in the second, from the 
fact, that the most steadfast of created things should be destroyed by 
him, while he remains unchangeably the same. 1 Sam. 1 : 22, Han- 
nah says, " she would bring her ton before God, that he may dwell 
there dSi;? ni%" on which Gousset has already well remarked, 
" quod si deus et ejus jussu Samuel aliter statuant, per ipsam saltern 
nan staturum, quia id fiat, uti ipsa enuntiat." Eccles. 1:4, " Gen- 
erations come, generations go, and the earth stands cSi S ; " the earth 
is represented only as not subject to all those causes of decay, which 
destroy all that is found upon it. Deut. 15 : 17, " And he shall be to 
thee for an everlasting servant, uhiv "t.pi'b ; the year of Jubilee shall, 
to ajl eternity, effect for thee no change in his relation to thee," In 
like manner Lev. 25 : 46, where servants out of foreign nations may 
be held as servants ybr ever, in contradiction to v. 39-42, where an 
Israelitish servant must be emancipated in the year of Jubilee. 2 
Kings 5 : 27, " The leprosy of Naaman shall cleave to thee and to 
thy seed th)]h.'" No regard is here paid to a future extinction of 
the race of Gehazi. Should this continue eternally on the earth, it- 
self eternal, so also would the punishment of the leprosy be eternal. 
Ps. 30: 13, " Lord, my God, to eternity will I praise thee." The 
Psalmist speaks only of what he will do in accordance with the in- 
most desire of his soul ; if it only depends upon him, his praise of 
God shall not cease through all eternity. If now we apply the result 
we have obtained, to the passage before us, it is evident, that the ex- 
planation by ancient righteousness, is entirely untenable. As 'dri]} 
c,an never of itself have the meaning attributed to it in this explana- 
tion, it can only be justified, by showing from the text itself, a reason 
for a subjective or hyperbolic understanding of eternity, (comp. under 
b. and c.) No such, however, is to be found. The word can be so 
understood, only where emotions and personal references prevail, as 
not only in the Psalms, but also in the predictions of the prophets, in 
which the hortatory character predominates. The prophecy before 
us, liQwever, is purely objective, as generally in Daniel, who was no 



prophet by office, who had no auditors around him ; the direct horta- 
tory character is entirely subordinate. 

Still more to be rejected is the explanation of Bertholdt, who un- 
derstands by p-]X deliverance from a religious and political oppression, 
"the ancient freedom.'' Here, to equal caprice in the understand- 
ing of dSij; is added still greater, in the interpretation of pT^!. All 
these false explanations are occasioned merely by an incorrect hy- 
pothesis in respect to the reference of the whole verse. The natural 
and correct sense was not suited either to Michaelis and Jahn, who 
refer it to the time immediately after the Babylonish exile, or to Ber- 
tholdt, who supposes a reference to the times immediately after the 
oppressions of Antiochus Epiphanes. — Finally, the pardon of sin, 
and the gift of the divine righteousness, in just the same manner as 
here, correspond in Ps. 69 : 28, " Impute to them their sins, and 
let them not receive a part in thy righteousness." 

''And to seal up vision and prophet." 

The interpreters mostly suppose, that to seal up, here, is as much 
as to fulfil, confirm, ratify, with reference to the custom of confirming 
the contents of a writing, by affixing to it a seal. The existence of 
this custom among the Hebrews is sup.posed to be evident from I 
Kings 21 : 8, Jer. 32 : 10, 11, 44. They deduce as parallel, passa- 
ges like Acts 3 : 18, " God has fulfilled, tJihjQoiasv, what he had be- 
fore made known by the mouth of all his prophets ; " Matt. 5 : 17. 
This import of sealing is found, indeed, in Syriac, (comp. e. g. 
Ephraem Syrus, Hijmn. 80. ado. Scrutat. Opp. III. p. 149,) and 
in the New Testament, John 6 : 27. But it is entirely foreign to the 
Hebrew. We have already seen that this knows no other metaphori- 
cal use of Dnn, than that taken from the custom of sealing things 
which are laid aside, and concealed. This meaning can the less be 
relinquished here, since it is, in general, unnatural to assume, that 
Dnn occurs in a single verse in different senses ; 'and the more so, 
since the sealing up of vision and prophect, even by position, (comp. 
p. 308,) manifestly refers to the sealing up of the pro{)hecy. With 
the sealing up of sin, the prophecies also are sealed up, in which this 
was predicted. As soon as the fulfilment takes place, the prophecy, 
although in other respects it retains its great importance, reaches 
the end of its destination, in so far as the view of believers, who 
stand in need of consolation and encouragement, is no longer direct- 


ed to it, to the future prosperity, but to that which has appeared ; as 
they no longer rely on the word of the Lord, but on his deeds, and 
with Philip (John 1 : 46) exclaim : ov lygaipt McaiJarjg iv tw vofim y.ul ol 
nQocpi]iai, iVQijxafisr, 'irjaovv tov viov tov Vojij»)(jp, tov ano Na^agh. 
According to this interpretation, the passage is entirely parallel with 
Matt. 11 : 13, navng yug ol ngoqjtjTai xeu o rofiog i'cog Iwavvov ngos- 
cpriTsvanv, on which Bengel : "nunc cumphturn, qiiod iisque ad Joan- 
nem fuerat prcedictum" ; and also 2 Pet. 1 : 19 : y.ui i'^of^iv (Sf^aiois- 
gov TOV TigocptjTiHOV Xoyov, o) xu?Mi tioiuts ngoaixovTeg, wg Ai^jw cputvovn 
iv avx}0]goi tottoj, I'm? ov ij/jsga dinvyaap, qxagcpogog uruTSi'hj iv raig 
xagSimg v;uwv. In this latter place, we have combined the sense of 
the two interpretations, the usual one, and our own. The ngocpijTi- 
x6g loyog has, on the one side, gained in certainty, by the fulfilment ; 
on the other, however, as a ground of hope and consolation, it has 
been thereby abrogated, as a man directs his eye to a feeble light, 
that can but poorly and imperfectly scatter the surrounding dark- 
ness, only until the clear day breaks ; comp. Vol. I. p. 241. 

The use of the sing. (comp. p'Trj collect., Is. 1 : 1, 2 Chron. 32 : 
32, Nah. 1:1; Kleinert, Ueber die Aechtheit des Jes. p. 11.) and the 
omission of the article, serve to designate the object in its widest 
universality. Comp. e. g. nin; j?^w^Mn nrpn^-i Dnx Ps. 36: 7, 'and 
inj D^a^; ^h nbsn V^'t Ps. 65 : 2, also Dnx Ps. 73 : 5. This uni- 
versality can have a double aim, either to designate the object as un- 
limited, as in the cited passages of the Psalms, or to give in the rep- 
resentation an unlimited extension to that which is in itself confined. 
The latter occurs, e. g., chap. 11: 14 : " The sons of the transgressors 
of the people will rise up ]"iTn T'Tpi'n'p, for the fulfilment of prophecy," 
where the prophet speaks altogether generally. — jnn is there to be 
taken collectively, — although he properly had in view one definite 
object, his own prophecy. It was not here important that the event 
served for the fulfilment of a special prophecy, but only for the fulfil- 
ment of prophecies in general. For this latter ground in favor of the 
universality of the expression, we may allege the remaining charac- 
ter of the section, in which the article is often omitted, where, if the 
expression corresponds to the definiteness of the subject, it must nec- 
essarily stand, comp. e. g. n'"^^ v. 25. 26. — Bertholdt, Jahn, Rosen- 
miiller, and others explain, " Until the declaration of the prophet 
Jeremiah is fulfilled." This explanation is, however, to be rejected, 
for the following reasons. 1. It rests on the false explanation of 
sealing up, by confining. That being correctly explained, their in- 

INTERPRETATION. — V. 24. ■♦ 319 

terpretation could at most be admissible only in case pin stood alone ; 
by the addition K"3Ji, however, it is refuted ; for how could a prophet 
be described as henceforth useless, because one of his prophecies had 
been fulfilled ? Even if prn stood alone, in case the prophet had in 
view a special prediction of Jeremiah, the indefiniteness of the lan- 
guage would still be very unusual. The violation of the rule, " The 
article is most necessarily used where a thing or person already men- 
tioned is referred to," (Evvald, p. ;')6(J,) could then only be assumed 
when the prophecy of Jeremiah had been mentioned immediately be- 
fore, so that it would at once occur to every reader, and thus the in- 
definiteness be removed, or when other circumstances in the dis- 
course, as a striking agreement of the contents of the prophecy of 
Jeremiah, with that which is here promised, supplied the place of the 
article. 2. The abolition of pm and XOJ can still happen in no 
other way, than by the accomplishment of that which is here pre- 
dicted to take place at the end of the 70 weeks, especially the seal- 
ing of sin, to which the sealing of vision and prophet closely relates. 
The same must now also be promised in the prediction, or in both 
the predictions of Jeremiah, to which the prophet is supposed to re- 
fer. But of this there is there no trace to be found. Chap. 25, 
merely the cessation of the Babylonish servitude is promised, and 
chap. 29 is limited to the promise of the restoration and the merciful 
care of God. 

There can therefore be no doubt that we have here a reference to 
the prediction which runs through all the prophetical writings, of the 
forgiveness of sin to be conferred in the days of the Messiah ; comp. 
on Zech. 13 : 1. When this, the substance of the work of Christ, 
has been accomplished, the prophecies in the above-mentioned rela- 
tion might justly be regarded as abolished. 

" And to anoint a holy of holies." 

The defenders of the reference of the whole verse to the times 
immediately after the return from the exile, as Michaclis and Jahn, 
refer these words to the consecration of the temple, rebuilt by Zerub- 
babel and Joshua, while those, who prefer the time immediately after 
the oppressions of Antiochus Epiphanes, refer them to the new con- 
secration of the temple, profaned by the Syrians. In both cases 
riB'n must be taken in an imjjroper sense of a bare consecration, for 
we do not find during the first temple, nor the second, neither after 
its erection nor its profanation, the slightest evidence that the sane- 

#> -m 


tuary was anointed, as was the case according to Exod. 30: 22,&..c., 
during the tabernacle. On the contrary, according to the uniform 
tradition of the Jews, (comp. Lund, 1, 29,) the holy oil was wanting 
under the second temple. In the case of the first temple, the anoint- 
ing might have been omitted, because the holy vessels of the taber- 
nacle, which had already been anointed, w( re transferred to it. In 
respect to the second, it might well have been thought, in accordance 
with the character of th^t whole period, that it would be better to 
wait for the restoration of the old and most sacred oil, than to prepare 
new. An objection common to both interpretations is, that according 
to them, D'tJ^^P U'."7p is understood of the "holy of holies" of the earth- 
ly temple, which is never so called, but, without any exception, '>l/'^T) 
D^cynpn; comp. 2 Chron. 3 : 8, Exod. 26 : 33, 1 Kings G : 16. 
0''\Lnv_ ^Ip, on the contrary, serves always to designate other objects 
besides the " holy of holies," which in their kind are the most holy, as 
the altar of burnt-offerings, and other vessels in the sanctuary, i;i 
comparison with the court, &c. A look at Buxtorfs Concordance 
will show, that this distinction has been constantly observed. It is 
most clearly manifest, Ezek. 41 : 4, comp. 43 : 12, 45: 3. In the 
former passage, the discourse relates to that part of the new temple, 
which should correspond with the " holy of holies" of the former tem- 
ple ; here D'tyiDH t^np. In both the others, the prophet designates 
the whole compass of the mountain, on which the new temple should 
stand, as " a holy of holies," in relation to the former temple, to which, 
with the exception of the holy of holies, only the predicate of positive 
holiness was suited ; here C'ti'T.;^ jy^p. The only passage in which 
Ctynp tynp at first sight seems to be used, without being rendered 
definite by the article, of the most holy place of the temple, is I 
Chron. 23: 13, " Aaron with his sons were separated, synp Tit^'IpDV 
D'K'T.D." But this must rather be explained, quidquid sacrosanc- 
tum erat, as already Le Clerc, " iit res sanctissimas, sacrijiciaj vasa 
sacra, consecrarent." 

To delay longer with the first reference, would be useless, because 
its defenders themselves bear testimony against it, by the violent 
changes of the text to which they resort. The period of the 70 
weeks of years can be proved with mathematical certainty, as that 
which belongs to the original text of the prophet. In order to be 
convinced of its correctness, we n-eed only combine the following 
short periods, into which the whole is divided, 62 - 7 - 1. If, how- 
ever, this is established, how can the new consecration of the earthly 


temple be predicted, as not occurring until after 490 years ? We 
may therefore proceed at once to consider the grounds, which, be- 
sides those already adduced, are opposed to the second reference, 
1. The outward consecration of the outward temple is unsuitable 
to the connexion with the other gracious gifts of God, which are here 
promised. These are all spiritual'; they refer to a destruction of 
sin ; they bear a Messianic character. Even therefore should the 
passage be referred to the times of the Maccabees, we are not to 
think of the new consecration of the outward temple, as a mere ex- 
ternal and human work. We must suppose that the prophet, con- 
necting together the end of the oppression of religion, and the begin- 
ning of the Messianic kingdom, intended thereby something far 
greater. 2. Were the new consecration of the temple the subject of 
discourse, we do not see, even leaving the article out of view, why 
the prophet should speak only of the " holy of holies," instead of the 
whole temple. Bertholdt, p. G51, feeling this difficulty, throws out 
the conjecture, that the whole temple is here designated as a " holy of 
holies," in the sense in which the author of the second book of Mac- 
cabees (5 : 15,) calls it to niiaijg ttJ? yi'ig uyidiuTOV Uqov, or (41 : 31,) 
TO fiiyiaiov xal liyiov Ugof. But this expedient is inadmissible, be- 
cause Cty^i^ tl'lp, although indeed of itself relative, yet, when used of 
the temple, in order to avoid ambiguity, never designates the whole, 
as holier than all besides ; but only the holy of holies, in reference to 
the sanctuary. An appeal cannot be made to the cited passage of 
Ezekiel, which seems to make an exception. For there the dis- 
course relates to an entirely new order of things; the whole compass 
of the new (Messianic) temple, is there, by a brief comparison, de- 
signated as a " holy of holies," equal in dignity to the former " holy of 
holies." 3. The subject of discourse cannot here be a new consecra- 
tion of the old temple at the end of 70 weeks of years, because, ac- 
cording to v. 27, the same temple is at that time to be entirely de- 
stroyed. 4. This supposition is liable to invincible chronological 
difficulties, as the 490 years extend far beyond the time of the new 
consecration of the temple. That the attempts to set aside these 
difficulties, are entirely unsuccessful, we shall hereafter see. 

Many other interpreters, justly rejecting the reference to the out- 
ward temple, explain the words of the anointing of the Messiah. 
These adopt a twofold course. Many translate D'K/lp \inb directly 
by, " the holy of holies," or what would be more correct, " o holy of ho- 
lies." This interpretation was, in all probability, adopted by the Seventy 

VOL. n: 41 


{y.a.1 svcpgdvai uyiov uykov) and Theodotion {y.u} tov XQiaui ayiov uylcov). 
That neither of them referred it to the " holy of holies " of the temple, 
is evident, because this is constantly designated by the Greek transla- 
tofs by (iyiov rav uylcor, or ju uyia xmv aylwv, or to ayiov tov uyiov, 
comp. Tromm. Concord, s. v. That they regarded it as masc, ap- 
pears from the svcpQccvai of the Seventy, which does not necessarily 
imply a different reading, nrDi:;, but may well be regarded as a rejec- 
tion of the trope occasioned by Ps. 45 : 8, where the discourse is of 
the anointing of the great king with the oil of joy ; and the more so, as 
this tendency is manifested by the Seventy throughout the verse. 
Theodoret presupposes this interpretation to be correct, and as not 
doubted even by the Jews : xovroig ndhv nQoaxid-tiKS : roii ;(Q7auL 
fxyiov ayioiv ' rig 8s ovrog iariv 6 twv ayicav uyioc ; HTtuTwaav ^lovduloi " 
ft Si ayvoovai ' nag ri^mv /.lu&hwacev, wg avtog eoTiv 6 dfanotijg Xgiaiog, 
did fiiv " Hadiov -rrgoliymv ' nviv/ja KVgiov in efis, ov Hvsxtv ixgioi /.is 
kvgiog, vno 8e tov Juft'id /:inQTvgovi.i£vog, on, j{. t. I. (Ps. 45 : 8.) This 
understanding of the translation of the Seventy, and of Theodoret, is 
the more natural, as the personal reference and the Messianic im- 
port can otherwise also be proved, as tolerably current among the 
Jews from the most ancient time. Comp. the passages in Raim. 
Martini, p. 285. Carpz. Sclwttgen, p. 264. Edzard, ad Abodoh Sa- 
rah, pp. 246, 247. In the Christian church, this interpretation, the 
last defender of which is Scholl, obtained, particularly by means of 
the Vulgate {et ungatur sanctus sanctorum), a very wide diffusion. In 
the mean time, however, we find very early doubts as to its correct- 
ness. Eusebius {Demonstr. VIII. c. 2.) remarks, he has never found 
in the holy Scriptures, that the high priest was called sanctus sanc- 
torum. This ground, somewhat differently understood, viz., that 
D'^nn K'np, in holy Scripture, never occurs of persons, but always of 
things only, is alone sufficient to refute the interpretation. Were this 
accidental, the word would not occur so often (forty-three times). Of 
no weight is the remark of Scholl, p. 14, " Non mirum liunc loquen- 
di usum inusitatum esse, cum raro inveniantur personcc hoc nomincB 
digme." For he does not consider that C^'^P ^IV, as the idiom 
sufficiently shows, is a relative conception, and only renders promi- 
nent the holiest of a multitude of things of the same kind (comp. on 
the expression of the Superlative, by the joining of a noun with the 
same noun in the stat. constr. Evvald, p. 575.), on which account, e. g., 
the high priest, in comparison with the priests, might well bear this 
name, if in general it were applied to persons ; and moreover, apart 


from this erroneous assumption, it would be difficult to give the rea- 
son why God and the Messiah, to whom alone the name is appro- 
priate, are never designated by it. The difficulty is increased by 
the circumstance, that Tl/JD also never occurs as a designation of 

Others, perceiving the force of this difficulty, take Q'K'np K/np as re- 
lating to things, and understand it of the." holy of holies" of the tem- 
ple, but suppose the type to stand as a designation of the anti-type, 
appealing to the passages of the Old Testament, where Jehovah calls 
himself K/npo, Is. 8:14. Ezek. 11 : 19, and of the New Testament, 
where Christ compares himself with a vmg. So, e. g., Ch. B. Michae- 
lis, and lastly, the reviewer of SchoH's Comm., in Tholuck's Litt. Anz. 
Jahrg. 1830. p. 233. By the objection, that D'K'^p K/^p can designate 
not " the holy of holies," but only " on holy of holies," these interpre- 
ters are only required to modify, in a measure, their interpretation. 
Christ could be called a "holy of holies" as the "new temple," 
which should be exalted in glory as much above the former, 
as the "holy of holies" surpassed the sanctuary. The appro- 
priateness of this brief comparison could be made still more 
clear, by the remark, that the cause of the superiority of the " holy 
of holies," that which made it such, the gracious presence of the 
Lord, is far more perfectly, completely, and gloriously afforded in 
Christ. Nevertheless, \ve cannot adopt this interpretation. We shall 
endeavour to establish our own, before we proceed to its refutation. 

That the anointing cannot here be understood literally, we have 
already seen. We investigate now, the meaning of the figurative 
expression. The passages are first to be examined, where the out- 
, ward action embodying the inward image, then those where the 
image, as such, occurs. To the first class, belong the following 
passages: Exod. 30:22, sq., 40:9, sq., the Lord commands Mo- 
ses to prepare holy anointing oil, and therewith to anoint the taberna- 
cle, its vessels, and the priests, who minister in it. The import of 
this symbolical action, we best learn from Zech. chap. 4. (comp. p. 
42.) The oil is the symbol of the Spirit of God ; the anointing of 
the temple, a sensible representation of the imparting of this Spirit in 
the Theocracy, which is thereby separated from every thing lying be- 
yond the sphere of the gracious operations of God, and sanctified. 
Calvin : " Certc. idea nos et omnia nostra sanctijicat spiritus dei, quia 
extra ipsum profani sumus it omnia nostra corrupta." The outward 
holiness, which, according to Exod. 30 : 29, each one received by 


touching the vessels of the temple, consecrated with the anointing 
oil, is symbolical of the inward holiness, which each one receives, 
who enters into a living inward connexion with the church of the 
Lord. The correctness of our interpretation appears, from a com- 
parison of the remaining passages, where the design of the symbolic 
action is very evident. 1 Sam. 10 : 1 sq. Samuel, after he has 
anointed Saul, says to him, ." Of a truth the Lord has anointed thee 
to be a prince over his inheritance. — And there comes over thee, 
the Spirit of the Lord, — and thou wilt be changed into another man. 
Then do thou what thine hand will find ; for the Lord is with thee." 
Here, where the anointing, and the imparting of the Spirit of the 
Lord, stand in the relation of cause and eftect, what can be plainer, 
than that the former typifies what the latter imparts ; that it is a seal 
and pledge of the good things which the Lord gives to the rulers of 
his people for the prosperity of the latter? In like manner, 16 : 13, 
14, where the anointing of David is mentioned : " And the Lord 
said, anoint him ; and then Samuel took the oil-vessel, and anointed 
him, — and so fell the Spirit of the Lord upon David from that day 
forth. And the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil 
spirit from the Lord terrified him." From the New Testament we 
cite Mark C : 13, " The apostles cast out many devils, and anointed 
many sick persons with oil, and made them whole in the name of 
the Lord." James 5 : 14, " Is any sick, let him call the elders of 
the church ; let them pray over him, and anoint him with oil, in the 
name of the Lord." On which latter place, Bengel remarks : 
" Whitakcrii!; : ' oleo utantur, qui possuiit (Bgrutis sanitatem preci- 
hus impetrare : qui non possunt. abstineant inani symholo.' Unus 
enim illius unctionis scopus initio erat miraculosa sanatio, qua defi- 
ciente non est nisi inane symbolum." The oil, therefore, is here also 
a symbol of the operations of the Spirit of God. We now proceed to 
those passages, where the anointing occurs as a mere figure. Ps. 
45 : 8, " Thou hast anointed him, thy king, with the oil of gladness," 
i. q. thou hast imparted to him the powers and gifts of thy Spirit. 
For that we are by no means, with several interpreters, to take this 
anointing with " the oil of gladness," as a mere designation of the 
imparting of joy, borrowed from the custom of anointing at feasts ; 
that rather, by the oil, " the holy anointing oil " is to be understood, 
and " the oil of gladness" is that which brings joy with it ; appears 
from a comparison of v. 9, with Exod. 30 : 23, sq. On Is. 61 : 1, 
" The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed 


me," &c. Vitringa justly remarks, " Id est in potcstafc vocis, ut 
notet eos, qui ungi dicimtur, ccnscri a deo ad hanc illam. dignitatem 
sancfijicatos, ad dcum pcrtinere atque ab ipso eum injinem necessariis 
dotibus'instructos esse, et quidcm in (ecoiiomia ecclcsicc a spiritu dci. 
Unctio infercbat participalionem spiritus sancti. Quanto autem offi- 
cia sunt nubiliora, ad qua; qids ungitur, tanto 7najorem sp. s. copiam 
unctio affert." 1 Kings 19: 15, sq., where Elijah receives the com- 
mand to anoint Hazael as king over Aram, Jehu, as king over Israel, 
and Elisha, as a prophet ; a symbolic action, and a symbol, are com- 
bined with one another in a remarkable manner, as a clear proof how 
little, in case' of the former, depended upon the material. Jehu and 
Hazael were actually anointed ; the latter, only in order to symbol- 
ize the divine power, which should be imparted to him as an instru- 
ment of the divine penal justice for the destruction of Israel. Of an 
anointing of the prophets, we find elsewhere no trace ; and in refer- 
ence to Elisha, therefore, must the anointing be regarded as a figura- 
tive designation of the imparting of the gifts of the Spirit. In the 
New Testament, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as they are imparted to 
the true members of the church, the ItQanv^m uyiov xal ^aalluov 
(1 Pet. 2 : 5, 9.), are called directly xQu^m 1 John 2 : 20, 27, and the 
anointing occurs Acts 4 : 27, 10 : 38, 2 Cor. 1 : 21, partly without 
an adjunct, partly with the addition nvhv^ian m/Zm, of an iniparting of 
the gifts of the Spirit to Christ, and to believers. — In reference to 
the agreement between the figure and tlie reality, comp. Vitringa, on 
Is. 10 : 27. 

What now is intended by the Q'K'^P ^'IP, to be consecrated and 
supplied with the gifts of the Spirit ? Plainly " the new temple of 
the Lord," the Church of the new Covenant. That the temple, as 
the seat of the Theocracy under the old covenant, not unfrequently 
occurs as a designation of the church, we have already seen on Zech. 
6 : 12. We will now cite some passages from the Psalms, which 
prove how general this more .spiritual consideration of the temple 
was; where, disregarding the shell, only the kernel, the gracious 
presence of the Lord, was seen. Ps. 15: 1, "Who shall dwell in 
thy tabernacle, who shall abide upon thy holy hill 1 " These words 
signify precisely, " Who belongs to the members of thy house, thy 
confidents, thy Spiritual Church ? " A question, which the Psalmist 
was led to ask, by seeing a great mixed multitude assemble at the 
outward temple. Ps. 22 : 6, " My dwelling is in the house of the 
Lord for ever." The sense is here, by understanding the passage su- 


perficially, entirely perverted. It is commonly supposed, that by the 
" dwelling in the house of the Lord," a residence in the outward tem- 
ple is to be understood, without considering that the discourse can- 
not be of such a residence, but that a permanent condition is re- 
quired by the parallelism. "To dwell in the house of the Lord," is 
here also, to enjoy his near presence and confidence ; comp. Ps. 5 : 
5, " The ungodly dwells not with thee" ; — Ps. 63 : 4, " Thus do 
I behold thee in the sanctuary." By " the presence of the Lord," 
for which the Psalmist so ardently longs, the desolate wilderness is 
converted into the temple of the Lord. For, where God is, there is 
the sanctuary. Ps. 73 : 17, " Until I go into the sanctuaries of the 
Lord," Sx ■'K''7p"?, according to the constant usage, which can be 
relinquished with De Wetle only from mere caprice, the temple ; the 
plural, with reference to the threefold division of the same. With 
regard to the temple, however, the Psalmist thinks not of the shadow, 
but the substance, the presence of the Lord. To " come into the 
temple of the Lord," is to draw near to him, in order to draw from 
his rich fountain the knowledge, which, according to v. 16, carnal 
reason cannot give. Ps. 27 : 4, " One thing do I desire of the 
Lord, only that do I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord 
all the days of my life, to behold the favor of the Lord, and to inquire 
in his temple." The Lord is the light and salvation of the Psalmist. 
Therefore, he has only one prayer, only one wish ; that the Lord would 
remain with him, in whom every thing else is included ; that he may 
never lose his favor or be excluded from his fellowship. That the 
outward temple, as such, is not here intended, is evident from v. 5, 
which is connected with this by O. If there, the being concealed in 
the tabernacle, and in the tent of the Lord, is to be understood alto- 
gether figuratively, so must the gross literal understanding here also 
be entirely absurd. It is likewise only in the spiritual sense that 
nnx can be explained. It is one thing, which gives David courage 
against the whole world ; it is one thing, therefore, only, which he 
desires and seeks ; not a residence in the outward temple, but the 
possession of the mercy of the Lord. In addition to this, the false 
interpretation of njn; Dj^jn nirnS by " to behold the beauty of the 
Lord," is connected with the literal understanding, while njn.' DJ^J 
never has any other meaning than " the grace, the mercy, of the Lord," 
and the equally erroneous interpretation of i^^'nq ")p5^ by " and 
to view thy sanctuary with pleasure," while "ipa never has the mean- 
ing, " to see." The oliject of the Psalmist's reflection, is the mercy 


of the Lord, his exalted protector. The whole of the 84th Psalm, 
" How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts," can receive 
an easy and natural interpretation only by supposing that the temple 
is wherever God is. The absurdity of the literal understanding is 
especially evident in v. 4. 

The prophet designates the new temple which should be anointed 
by the grace of the Lord, as " a holy of holies," in contrast with the 
former, only one particular part of which received this name. Just 
as Ezekiel, in the cited passage, for the same reason, described the 
whole compass of the hill, on which the new temple should be built, 
as a " holy of holies." The cited passages of the Pentateuch lie at 
the foundation of the figurative representation, in which the anoint- 
ing of the outward temple is treated of. This outward anointing 
stands to that here described, in the relation of the type to the antitype. 
The anointing of a " holy of holies " stands in antithesis with the 
desolation of the sanctuary, and the destruction of the wing of abom- 
ination in V. 26, 27. The former sanctuary is destroyed, because 
it has become a mere shell without a kernel ; because, through the 
guilt of the people, that which made it the sanctuary, the presence 
of the Lord, has departed from it ; a new sanctuary, without a cover- 
ing and shell ; a new dwelling-place of God on earth, is consecrated. 
What gives to this interpretation the advantage over that of the per- 
son of the Messiah, besides this double reference, is as follows. L 
Although it neither can, nor should be denied, that the representa- 
tion of the Messiah under the image of the true temple, is, in gene- 
ral, possible ; still, it never occurs in the Old Testament ; while the 
supposition, that the "holy of holies" signifies the church of the 
Lord, has a multitude of analogies in its favor. 2. By "the anoint- 
ing of the Messiah," nothing else could be understood, than the im- 
parting of the gifts of the Spirit for the execution of his office, as it is 
described Is. 11 : 1, and as it took place at his baptism. This, how- 
ever, falls in the end of the GOth week. It relates to the remaining 
blessings promised in this verse, as the cause to its effect, and it 
must, therefore, be very surprising, if it is mentioned coordinately 
with thern, nay, even in tl^e last place ; and the more so, as the S 
repeated before each particular blessing, shows that they are not to 
be considered, in general, as being imparted during the period of the 
70 weeks of years, but as existing in their full completion at the 
close of this period, while the anointing of the Messiah, as one par- 
ticular action, not progressive, like the rest, woul^ not reach this 


terminus ad quern. That the sealing of sin also, &.C., as effected by 
the death of the Messiah, would not reach this termination, need not 
be objected. Its objective completion falls, it is true, in the middle 
of the 70th week of years; the subjective, however, the imparting of 
the treasures of grace and forgiveness, procured by the Messiah, 
reaches its termination ; as, in v. 27, the confirmation of the covenant 
for many, is described as extending through the whole 70th week. 
Even therewith, also, was the sealing of the vision first to be com- 
pleted. For the prophets speak, throughout, not merely of the atone- 
ment as an objective transaction, but, at the same time, of the appro- 
priation of the same by the covenant people. 

Verse 25. 

"And thou wilt know and understand, from the going forth of the 
word to restore, and to build Jerusalem, until an Anointed One, a 
Prince, are 7 weeks, and 2 and 60 weeks. The street will be re- 
stored and built, and it is firmly determined, and in times of distress." 

" And thou loilt knotv and understand." 

That h'D^m) jrini is not to be explained with most interpreters by, 
" mark well," but rather, as the Seventy {xal yvwoji 't"* Siavo^O '>](}]]) 
and Theodotion {y.ul yvwa;i yal avrijaeig), the fut. must be taken in 
the sense o[fut., while the Vulg. (^scito ergo et animadoertc) has led 
the way to the false interpretation, which takes it in the imperative, 
we have already shown in the Bcitrdgen, I. p. 261. This mistake is 
refuted even by the form, which, only in exceptions which are sel- 
dom found, stands for the impcr. and optat. ; comp. Ewald, p. 527. 
About to impart to Daniel, by carrying out farther the picture which 
had only been sketched, a further disclosure concerning the future 
condition of his people, and thus to fulfil the design of his coming, 
announced v. 27, (" I am come to give thee insight,") Gabriel awa- 
kens attention by these introductory words, which indeed indirectly, 
at the same time, contain an admonition to attend, as the promise 
to give insight presupposes, that this is not attainable by human pow- 
er, and that things would be treated of, respecting which, God only 
could make a disclosure. Finally, it is not to be overlooked, that 
" Thou wilt know and understand " expresses only the design of the 
teacher, and not the capacity of the scholar ; that therefore, the 


promise was only so far fulfilled as the latter allowed, and that, in the 
case of this prophecy also, there remained for Daniel no less dark- 
ness, than with respect tx) that, chap. 12, which the angel in v. 9 
describes, as shut up even for him. '^ 

" Froin the going forth of the word." 

That '13'J N"/o here signifies the emanation of a decree, as (2 : 13,) 
it is said of the command to slay the Magians, "it has gone forth," 
there can be no doubt. The farther designation by word, occurs 
elsewhere; also, e.g. 1 Sam. 15 : 23, 17:29, Esth. 4:3, where 
the discourse relates to command. The only question is, who must 
be regarded as the author of tlie command? By far the larger num- 
ber of interpreters take a Persian king as such ; we, however, assert, 
that only a going forth of the command from God, or from the hea- 
venly council, can be intended, and indeed for the following reasons. 
1. It is in the highest degree unnatural, that the word of an earthly 
ruler should be here designated by nnn, without a single syllable 
being said of such a person in what precedes and follows, either di- 
rectly or indirectly. Nothing is effected by an appeal to Dan. 2 : 13, 
and Esth. 4 : 3. For, in the first passage, he, from whom the com- 
mand goes forth, as well as the command itself, is mentioned in 
the foregoing context, and in the second, (" in all places, where the 
word of the king and his command arrived,") the meaning is ren- 
dered definite in the verse itself He, from whom the word here 
goes forth, must rather be the same, through whom all the fortunes 
of the covenant people, predicted throughout the prophecy, are 
determined, who has cut off the 70 weeks over his people, from 
whom the decree of the ruins of v. 26, and the final sentence in 
V. 27, proceed ; and the more so, since, at the end of the verse 
(]*nni), he ist expressly mentioned as the person, by whom the de- 
cree for the rebuilding of the city was formed. 2. The expression 
151 XV'^ is used, V. 23, of a divine decree ; viz. that 70 weeks of 
years should be determined upon the people. Surely, no one could 
find it easy to suppose that here, where, because the discourse con- 
tinues to relate to the transactions of Daniel with the heavenly mes- 
senger, the agent is expressed in a manner equally indefinite, anoth- 
er person is suddenly to be supplied as such. 

But how can an invisible fact be placed as terminus a quo, since 
that must be perceptible by the senses, if the whole prophecy is not 

VOL. 11. 42 


to be illusory, if it is to be possible, after the fulfilment, to be con- 
vinced of its truth by chronological calculation ? We answer, with 
God the difference in point of time between word and deed ceases. 
Word and execution are one with him. He commands, and it 
stands there. He speaks, and it is done. Ps. 33 : 9, Gen. chap. 1, 
Ps. 119:90,91, 148:5, Is. 48: 13. This coincidence of the word 
and deed is impressed even on the language. Thus the verb i^J, 
which of itself can signify only the verbal rebuke, and used of men 
designates only that, occurs, in respect to God, also of the real chas- 
tisement. Thus rijV, to command, includes in itself also the execu- 
tion of the divine commands. The appearance of the terminvs a 
quo occurs, therefore, when the commencement of the execution of 
the divine command is seen. Petavius, who (1. 12. De Doctr. Temp., 
c. 32. t. 11. p. 262. ed. Antv.) remarks, "Ego vocalmlufn Nvb nan 
solum arhitror edicti promulgationem, scd amplius ali-quid esse, nempe 
id qtiod latina voxproprie signijicat, veramet scriam dccreti illiiis exe- 
cutionem, ita ut mora omni impedimentoque sublato opus ipsum urgeri 
et Hierosolyma instnurari cceperit," as to the substance, was far 
more correct than his opposers, who have easily proved to him, that 
he took X^io in a false sense, comp. e. g. Frischmuth in the Thesaur. 
Theol. Phil. I. p. 912. He only erred by adopting the false sup- 
position, that the discourse is here of the edict of a Persian king, 
and attributing to the import of the word, that which, according to 
a correct interpretation, follows from the nature of the acting subject. 

" To restore and to build Jerusalem." 

As the tlrminus ad quern, corresponding to the terminus a quo 
Xi'b"]n, is designated by the following n;*, so is the h in T^rfi taken 
by most interpreters, not, as it usually stands in such a connexion 
(comp. e. g. Dan. 12: 11), as a designation of a terminus ad qiiem, 
but of the object of the word, as e. g. 1 Sam. 19 : 1, " Saul spoke 
to slay, n^pn'?, David." We may, however, very well take both S and 
'^y as a designation of the term, od quern., and then the first term, ad 
quern would serve at the same time as term, a quo for the second : 
from the going forth of the word (to restore Jerusalem), until the 
restoration of Jerusalem, (and from there,) until an anointed One, 
a Prince. Then the first of the two following dates, would desig- 
nate the compass of the first period, from the command for the 
restoration of Jerusalem, till its execution. The second, the com- 


pass of the second, from the finishing of the restoration, until the 
anointed One. An entirely similar union of two termini ad quern, 
of which the first serves again as terminus a quo to the second, is 
found e. g. Jer. 31 : 40, D'piDn -i>»b/ ni3-n^ jnip. Snrnji^, "to the 
brook Kedron (and from there) to the corner of the horse-gate." 
This interpretation is favored even by the following twofold deter- 
miiiationof time, which leads us to expect, that in the foregoing also, 
where this twofold period of time is determined as to its beginning 
and end, its consisting of two parts would be mentioned. We 
need not object to this interpretation, that "13T xvb"jp would then 
stand too much apart. This is still more true of 13T. N^^ in v. 23. 
What the contents of the divine command which has gone forth 
may be, must there first be inferred from v. 24 ; viz, that 70 weeks 
are determined upon the city. Here the object is determined by 
what immediately follows. Precisely this agreement with v. 23, 
however, is an argument for the correctness of our interpretation. 
Nor may we urge the objection, that then i;' would rather be placed 
instead of S. The prepositions which of themselves designate a 
mere direction ivhithcr, are, in all languages, placed also where 
the motion proceeds until it reaches the object, without thereby 
losing their proper meaning. In Hebrew, such a use of S is so 
frequent, that it is scarcely worth the trouble to cite examples. Of 
returning to the Lord, S "^W or S^f., and nj^ liw, are promiscuously 
used. In Zech. 14 : 10, pa'?'? J^3Jn designates the whole extent 
of the holy land, from the one extreme boundary to the other. 
Here, however, there was a special reason for the choice of the S. 
The restoration of Jerusalem, if we consider the given period as 
a whole, forms merely a point of transition. In order to indicate 
this, "^V is placed before the absolute terminus ad quern. 

T\V'r\ has been misunderstood in various ways. 1. Several in- 
terpreters understand it of the bringing back of the people. But, 
apart from the violent ellipse which must be supposed, the reference 
of ytrh to Jerusalem is sufficiently plain from 3iK^n, which stands 
in close relation to it, which, like riri;3J, can be referred only to 3ini, 
street. 2. Others, as Scaliger and Bertholdt, p. 051, explain, "to 
rebuild"; asserting that 3r«y expresses, even in Hiph., a mere rep- 
etition of a thing. But we need only look at the only proof-passage 
cited by them, to be convinced, that it affords no argument for an 
opinion, which deserves beforehand to be rejected. 2 Sam. 15 : 25, 
" And the king said to Zadok, bring back the ark of the covenant 


to the city ; if I shall find mercy in the eyes of the Lord, "'JTB'ni, 
so will he bring me back, cause me to see it and its dwelling-place." 
TWTS is here, as alwaysftransitive : to cause to return, to bring bach. 
But what is it now, " to cause a city to return, or, to bring back a 
city " 1 It designates its complete restitution into its former condition. 
This is shown, among other passages, by Ezek. 16 : 55, " And thy 
sisters, Sodom and her daughters, will return to their former con- 
dition, jnnipS T\yyi;T\, and Samaria and her daughters will return 
to their former condition, and thou and thy daughters will return 
into your former condition." Seventy, ""Anoytaxaota&riaoi'xat, xa&cog 
-^aav an aQxt]?- It is said before, v. 53, " I turn the captivity, 
nnt?' n^ 'r^?^, of Sodom and her daughters," &c. , a phrase, which 
never, as the interpreters for the most part falsely assume, imports 
the bringing back of captives, but always, and without exception, 
the restitution to the former condition, — noiy, captivity, as a 
figurative designation of misfortune, — and here, even on account 
of the nature of the subject, and the last words of the verse, "and 
I turn the captivity of thy captives," must necessarily have this 
sense. In the passage before us, the restitution to the former con- 
dition receives, through vthe subjoined mJnS, especial limitation. 
" To bring back and to build," &c , " bring back to build, or, build- 
ing to bring back," to build up the city again in its ancient circumfe- 
rence, the same which Jeremiah (33: 7) expresses by the words "to 
build as in the beginning." The importance of the farther definition 
by ^'K/n, subjoined to "to build," sufficiently appears from the fact, 
that before nn^ZjJ, ^wr\ is afterwards repeated. 

From this determination of the import of ^'K'riS, we gain this 
important result: that we must not seek the terminus a quo of the 
70 weeks of years, in the time of the firsr poor commencement of 
a rebuilding, but rather in that, when, according to the testimony 
of history, a work was commenced, which promised to restore the 
city nearly to its ancient condition, with respect to its extent and 
the beauty of its edifices. This supposition, which is hereby alone 
fully established, receives further confirmation from the following 
arguments. 1. " Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and 
thy holy city," seems to shovy, that the city, as well as the people, 
was in existence at the beginning of the 70 weeks of years ; that, 
therefore, the beginning of the same cannot, in general, give the 
terminus a quo. 2. In the prediction of the destruction, in v. 26, 
as well as in v, 27, the temple is mentioned together with the city. 


That it is not mentioned here, in the prediction of the rebuilding, 
that merely the building of the streets of the city is spoken of, 
presupposes the sanctuary, at the commencement of the building 
here treated of, as already built; since we cannot suppose, that the 
angel would have omitted that which was most important, on ac- 
count of which Daniel iiad chiefly mourned and had most earnestly 
prayed, comp. e. g. v. 17-20; and, on the other hand, the exist- 
ence of the temple requires, that the rebuilding of the city should 
have already commenced. 

Several interpreters take nJD here in the sense to fortify, and 
indeed l'^'. n33 often occurs in this sense, (comp. the proofs in 
Gesen. Thes., and in Winer, s. v., and best in Michaelis, Suppl. 
p. 190, and on Josh. 6:5, who points out this idiom also in the 
Syriac;) not as though the verb received a new meaning, but ex 
materia suhjccta, partly because the building, in the case of a city 
already in existence, is necessarily limited to its fortification, as 
2 Chron. 11 : 5, '^li'^S nJ3, then, v. 6, nJ3 simply, partly because the 
idea of a city, taken in its whole compass, includes its fortification. 
But that this m.eaning is not applicable here, sufficiently appears 
from what follows, "streets are built," where the internal part of 
the city is precisely designated, as that which was to be built. This 
interpretation is owing merely to the wish to be able to place the 
ter7uinus a quo in the time of Nehemiah, the gratification of which 
was expected from this false interpretation of ^'Z'rh and iwr\, 

*' Until an Anointed One, a Prince." 

Several recent interpreters, as Bertholdt and Ilitzig, explain, 
*' until an, or, until the Anointed Prince." This interpretation is, 
however, to be considered as decidedly ungrammatical. HTp, as 
the older interpreters (comp, e. g. Vitringa in his excellent treatise, 
De Seventy Hebrlom. Dan., Ohserv. Sacrr., t. II. p. 290,) unani- 
mously remark, cannot be regarded as an adjective, belonging to 
n-JJ, because the adjective in Hebrew is placed after the substan- 
tive. This rule is entirely without exception. That passages like 
those cited by Bertholdt, p. 654, — e. g. 1 Chron. 28:5, D'3T O 
^^li^? '^ 1^^ ^''^^, not "many children has the Lord given to me," 
&-C., but " many are the children, which," &c., — are no exception ; 
that in them the qualifying word does not belong to the noun as 
an adjective, but forms the predicate, is too obvious to require any 


proof. But even the only two passages, which Ewald, p. 627, still 
regards as exceptions, and which are liable to suspicion, eVen on 
account of their being the only examples, appear on a closer exam- 
ination, strictly to come within the rule. Jer. 16: 16, is toJ)e trans- 
lated, "and afterwards will I send many others, huntsmen," with 
reference to the preceding, " Behold, I send many fishers, saith the 
Lord, and they fish them." Ps. 89:51, '"all the many, yea, na- 
tions," so that we have a climax, "great multitudes, yea, whole 

Those now, who justly regard D'li'n as a noun, and TJJ as in 
apposition with it, mostly take n'K'o here as a sort of jiroper name of 
Christ, appealing to the absence of the article, and hence they derive 
an argument against the non-Messianic interpretation. If we look 
merely at n'K/o, this interpretation is very plausible. That Apella- 
tives, when they pass over into proper names, gradually lose the 
article, because the individual thereby designated as the only one 
of his kind needs not to be distinguished from others, is well known. 
Thus p'''?i?,, spoken of God, often stands without the article. Numb. 
24 : 16, Deut. 32 : 8, Ps. 21 : 8, 46 : 5. Thus the Messiah, as king 
xar i^oxrjv, in comparison with whom all who are otherwise called 
kings are no kings, is named simply 'ij'^.rri, without the article, Ps. 
45 : 1, 72: 1. As n?3^, as a designation of the Messiah, occurs in 
Isaiah and Jeremiah appellatively, and with a more particular defi- 
nition subjoined, and in Zechariah without this, and as a proper 
name, so also might n"4'?, on the ground of Ps. 2, where it is found 
as an appellative designation of Christ, have become among the 
pious so current a designation of the Messiah, as to assume the 
nature of a proper name, and, as such, to stand in no need of being 
rendered more definite. This supposition is the less difficult, since 
at a later period this has undeniably occurred, in reference to D'^tJ^a ; 
comp. e. g. John 4 : 25, where the Samaritan woman says, " I know 
oTi MiatHug (not o Mscfalug) sQ^sTai, 6 ksyofASfog XQiaxog" But this in- 
terpretation, however just, if n^B^n stood alone, appears as untenable, 
if we consider the subjoined TJJ. For as this word cannot also be 
regarded as a proper name, as it occurs (v. 26) as a designation of the 
heathen prince, so, if this interpretation were correct, it must have 
the article, the Messiah, the Prince, as e. g. we cannot say, '^Sr3 TH, 
but only y^X^ "in. We must, therefore, translate, " an Anointed 
One, a Prince," and assume, that the prophet, in accordance with the 
uniform character of his prophecy, chose the more indefinite, instead 


of the more definite designation, and spoke only of an Anointed 
One, a Prince, instead of the Anointed One, the Prince, f^oxrjv, 
and left his hearers to draw a deeper knowledge respecting him, 
from the prevailing expectations, grounded on earlier prophecies of 
a future great King, from the remaining declarations of the context, 

^ and from the fulfilment, the coincidence of which with the proph- 
ecy must here be the more obvious, since an accurate date had 
been given. 

That the reference to Christ is so manifest as to force itself upon 
even the most prejudiced, appears from the following remarkable 
confession of Bertholdt (1. c. p^5G3) : " That at the words n^JlJ n'B?D 
we should be led to think of the Messiah, Jesus, and at those v. 26, 
lS pxi n'B'D niD'jof his crucifixion, though not absolutely necessary, 
is still very natural." We leave out of view for the present the con- 
firmation, which this reference receives from the fulfilment, and 
unfold only the grounds, which were accessible to Daniel himself, 
and his contemporaries, on a deeper investigation. 1. The bless- 
ings predicted in the foregoing verse, the forgiveness of sin, the 
introduction of everlasting righteousness, &c., belong, as already 
mentioned, to the uniform characteristics of the Messianic time in 
the prophets. When now, in a representation which announces 
itself by " thou wilt know and understand " as a farther continua- 
tion of the contents of v. 24, the discourse relates to an exalted 
King, who should make his appearance after 69 weeks of years, 
and therefore shortly before the time in which the finished con- 
ferring of these blessings upon the covenant people was placed, how 
could it be thought otherwise, than that this King should be the 
author of these blessings, the Messiah, announced as such by all 
the prophets? 2. This connexion between the person and the impart- 

•ing of the blessings, is farther especially indicated by the relation 
of the designation of the person as n'^^n to the phrase i^np niypS 
^'"'^l^l- " By the Anointed One shall a holy of holies be anointed." 
Precisely in order, to make this reference prominent, is K'np ni^aS 
D'^lp placed at the end, and T\W'0 before TJJ. 3. As TJJ does not 
exclude the reference to the Messiah, as it occurs of him Is. 55 : 4 
(comp. in loco), so does n^o, which here relates to T'JJ as the 
special to the general, notwithstanding its indefiniteness decidedly 
point to him ; like the corresponding ns^, Is. 9 : 6, Sk>d, Mic. 5 : 1, 
and XTJ, Ezek. 34 : 24. It serves more closely to designate TJJ as 
a Theocratic regent, just as I Sam. 10 : 1, (" And Samuel took the 


oil vessel, and poured it upon his (Saul's) head and kissed him, 
and said, Of a truth the Lord hath anointed thee, as a prince over 
his inheritance," T'Jj'? li^'^nrSj; Tt\r\\ ^r\vj'Q,) the anointing makes 
Saul not a regent in general, but a Theocratic regent, who, as God's 
representative, is furnished by him with the gifts necessary for his 
office. The assertion is entirely false, that every heathen king also 
could bear the name n^'K/n, Anointed. It is refuted, as well by the* 
already established import of the symbol, and figure of anointing, 
as by the usage of the language. In all the books of the Old Testa- 
ment, only one single heathen king (Cyrus, in Is. 45 : 1,) is called 
n''B'a, and he not indeed as such, hut on account of the remarkable 
relation, of which there is no other example in history, in which he 
stood to the theocracy, the rich gifts with which God endowed 
him for its benefit, the comme^ncement of the true knowledge of 
God enjoyed by him, as exhibited in his edict in the book of Ezra, 
(comp. Kleinert, p. 138, sq.), and the typical relation, which he sus- • 
tained to the author of the higher deliverance, the Messiah. Cyrus 
could, in a measure, be regarded as a theocratic prince, and as such 
he is represented in Isaiah. Comp. the striking remarks of Vitringa 
on Is. 1. c. Only in connexion with this whole description, is he 
represented in Isaiah as an anointed of God, and it by ho means 
follows from this passage, that he could be so called without such 
a connexion, and still less, that another heathen king could receive 
this name, who resembled him only in that which was not the 
ground of his being designated as n"Z'0. 4. The context furnishes 
us with still another proof, besides that which lies in the word itself, 
that not a heathen, but a Theocratic king is intended. This is 
found in the manifest antithesis between TJJ n'K/o and N3n T'JJ in 
v. 26. The general TJJ is common to both designations. In oppo- 
sition to n'ty^O, as a special characteristic of the Theocratic king^ 
stands X3n, he who comes, advena, as a designation of a heathen 
prince. If then it is established, that by TJJ n''tyn only a Theo- 
cratic king can be designated, who else can he be than the Messiah, 
since the whole time after Daniel affords no other subject, since he 
is the only Theocratic king, whom the prophets living at the time 
of the exile and afterwards have predicted as future, and since, e. g., 
Ezekiel (21 : 32) expressly says, the insignia of the regal dignity 
should be taken away from Israel, until the appearance of the great 
object of promise? 

If, then, by TJJ n'K/5, Christ must be understood, the question 


still arises, whether his birth, or the time when he was consecrated 
as n'l^D by the anointing from above, is to be regarded as the 
terminus ad qucm. The latter is the usual supposition of the Mes- 
sianic interpreters : comp. Petavins 1. c. I. 12, c. 33, t. II. p. 264 : 
" 69 hebdomades desinant in Christum ducem, non nascentem, sed in 
lucem apertumque prodeuntem, seqtie ad oixovofilav et xi^gv^iv accin- 
gentem, h. c. in baptismum ipsius, qui anno prima septuagesimcB heb- 
domadis incurrit." This view can be established by an irrefragable 
proof. After the course of 70 weeks shall the whole work of salva- 
tion, to be performed by the Messiah, be completed ; after 69 weeks, 
and, indeed, as it appears from the more accurate determination in 
V. 27, in the middle of the 70th, he shall be cut off. As now, ac- 
cording to the passage before us, 69 weeks shall elapse before the 
Messiah, there remains from that event to the completion of salva- 
tion only a period of 7, until his violent death, of 3 and a half years; 
a certain proof, that n^K/D li' must refer not to his birth, but to the 
appearance of the Messiah as such, (comp. Peter, Acts 1 : 21 ; Luke 
3:23,) who, indeed, before his baptism was not yet the Messiah, 
only Jesus, not the Christ. 

"Arc seven icecJcs and threescore and two weeks." 

The prophet in what precedes, " from the going forth of the word 
for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, until an Anointed One, a Prince," 
had given one extreme terminus ad quern, the appearing of the 
Anointed One, and a terminus medius, forming a subdivision of this 
period, the restoration of Jerusalem. Accordingly he here desig- 
nates the whole distance, " from the going forth of the word, until 
the Anointed One," by a twofold determination of time. 69 weeks 
in all, shall elapse. 7 until the completed restoration of the city, 
62 from that time until the Anointed One, the Prince. 

No man can deny to this interpretation, — as Theodotion has it, 
fw? Xgiaiov rjyoi'/j.ivov h^8ojxa8?q sma, aal s/38ui.iu8sg a^riXovTce 8vo, and 
also the Vulg., " usque ad Christum ducem hebdomades septem et hebdo- 
mades 62 erunt," while the text of the Seventy lies here in total con- 
fusion, and therefore cannot be used, — the advantage of being easy 
and natural. No one has ever been able to bring an objection against 
it, and this will be the more difficult hereafter, since, according to 
our interpretation of the words, " from the going forth," &c. the 
twofold division of the period is already contained in these words, 

VOL. II. 43 


and, therefore, a twofold determination of the time must naturally be 
expected. As a plausible objection against our interpretation, only 
the Athnach under n^O.ti' has been urged. This proves, according 
to Marsham, that the two periods must be separated, and the latter 
referred to what follows : " ob exitu verbi vsque ad Mcssiam ducem 
sunt hebdom. VII. Et hebdomadis 62 a:dificabitur platea et fossa." 
But the proposition, which lies at the foundation of this assertion, 
that the Athnach must always stand in the verse, where we place 
the greatest point, is false. It not unfrequently stands, if the place 
of the greatest point is manifest of itself, in members of a sentence, 
which we distinguish by a lesser poiut, in order to avoid the con- 
nexion of those, which should be separated from each other. Thus 
it stands, e. g. in v. 2, under DnDDn, instead of D"3K*l', according to 
the common usage; so, Ps. 36 : 8, under DTK, instead of D'riSx, comp. 
Ps. 84 : 3, Prov. 6 : 26. Here, however, the separation of the two 
periods was of greater importance, in order to indicate that the 7 
and the 62 weeks were not a mere arbitrary division of one whole pe- 
riod, but that its own characteristic mark belongs to each of the two. 
This view of Marsham's has been universally followed by the recent 
non-Messianic interpreters, but against it are the following objec- 
tions. 1. This interpretation presupposes that by "the Anointed, 
the Prince," Cyrus is to be understood ; an assumption against which 
the positive reasons deduced for the reference to the Messiah, are so 
many negative arguments ; and hereafter, in the pars elenchtica, it 
will receive a special refutation. 2. If the second determination of 
time is referred to what follows, we shall be obliged to interpret, 
"during 62 weeks, the streets will return and be built." But we thus 
obtain a highly absurd sense. For how can the restoration of the 
streets, which, according to the testimony of history, followed in a 
much shorter time, be designated as extending through a period of 
434 years? This consideration is the more important for our oppo- 
nents, since they maintain a prophecy after the event. This diffi- 
culty is acknowledged by them to be such, when they resort to an 
interpretation, which does violence to the language, in order to re- 
move it; so that the proof of the untenableness of this interpretation 
becomes at the same time a confession of its authors, that their whole 
view of the prophecy is erroneous. They assert, (comp., e. g., Ber- 
tholdt, p. 657,)that the words wmi D'y-'"ti' DT^^l stand in the Accus., 
which very often indicates the time m, or within which, any thing 
happens; so that we must explain, " within 62 weeks." But it is evi- 


dent that the rule of Ewald, p. 591, — "the accusative is used if the 
action belongs to the whole period of time. But if it is intended to 
show that the action falls in a definite point of a larger period, ?, iw, 
must be placed, as the ablative in Latin," — in the case of larger 
periods of time is entirely without exception, and, indeed, that it 
never ceases, as Ewald asserts, to operate when the speaker does not 
give the definite point. From the passage, Gen. 14 : 4, rT)j?';;"K/St?'l 
DJi!;, which is commonly explained, "in the thirteenth year," Ewald 
(p. 592,) has already freed ns by the remark, that we must rather in- 
terpret, " through the whole thirteenth year." The most plausible 
passage is Jer. 28: 16, nion nnx "^l'^"^, this year thou shalt die. 
But it soon appears that HJWn here belongs to the comparatively few- 
nouns of measure, of time, &c., which have become adverbs by fre- 
quent use, (comp. Ewald, p. 631,) entirely corresponding to "ip.3, nn?, 
^I^, DTD, 3'7.l'. nS-Sn. The word njqfn, in the sense in this year, not, 
as Is. 37 : 30, " throughout this year," is so much of an adverb that it 
can never be followed by the pron. demonstr. ; we cannot say T^Wjy 
X'nn, but only, as in Jer. 28:17 (as it follows immediately after 
n^tS^D), ^'DD '^J'4'^- To these nouns, partaking of the nature of the 
adverb, belongs also D">?3^, properly those, who are future, then in fu- 
ture, Is. 27 : 6. In like manner we also might well say, " this day, this 
hour., this week," for " within this week," &c., but not, " these seven- 
ty years," in any other sense, than during this whole period. There 
now remains for our opponents only one way of escape, to consider 
D.'jm D'lyjy Q'i'3'^^ as standing in the nom. absol., " and with respect to 
the 62 weeks, so will the street be restored," &c. ; but this also is in-- 
admissible, for then in the sentence, " the street," &c., there must 
be a suff. referring to the 62 weeks ; comp. Gesen. Lehrg. p. 723. 

Ch. B. Michaelis, although faithful to the Messianic interpretation, 
has in like manner been led, by a false view of the Athnach, to 
connect the 62 weeks immediately with what follows: "until the 
Messiah are 7 weeks, and in 2 and 60 weeks will the city be re- 
built ; and, indeed in the time of distress." The restoration of the 
city is the common characteristic of both periods ; the latter is espe- 
cially distinguished by, " in a time of distress." This interpretation 
avoids only the former of the difficulties, which oppose the preced- 
ing, the second remains in full force, and its weight is strengthened 
by other considerations. There can be no doubt, that every inter- 
pretation is false, which gives to the two periods, that of 7 weeks 
and that of 62 weeks, a common characteristic mark, and, therefore 


assumes that the prophet might as well have writtei> C9, instead of 
7 and 62. This is, in general, contrary to the character of the 
whole prophecy, in which there is nothing superfluous, no word 
without meaning ; and it is, moreover, especially refuted by the analo- 
gy of all the remaining determinations of time, which it contains. To 
each of the other periods a definite event is assigned, which is com- 
pletely to take place at its termination ; to the 70 weeks, the finished 
introduction of everlasting righteousness, and the forgiveness of sin ; 
to the 62, the appearing of the Messiah ; to the whole 70th week, 
the finished confirmation of the covenant; to the first half of the 
same, the abolition of sacrifice. It is true that Michaelis attributes 
in a measure to the 7 weeks a special characteristic, the building of 
the city in a prosperous time ; but this character is by no means, as 
in the case of all the other periods of time, expressly contained in 
the text, but must be skilfully inferred only from the antithesis with 
in time uf distress, and, moreover, such a contrast between the two 
periods has no foundation in history. The first 7 weeks also bear 
the character of a time of distress, as the prophecies of Malachi, 
which belong -to it, sufficiently prove ; the favors of certain Persian 
kings do not argue against, hut for this character; since to be 
dependent on foreign favor, is, for a people who have been free for 
a century, surely a sign of a distressing time, and then these favors 
were confined to very narrow limits. To the second period, on the 
contrary, belong the victories of the Maccabees, and the new nation- 
al independence of the people, so that the marks must be exactly 

".A street is 'restored and built." 

That these words relate to the first of the two periods before men- 
tioned is already sufficiently clear, if, with most interpreters, we 
consider niJnSi iJ'K/nS as an object of the command. For since 
each one of the two periods must necessarily have a definite sign, 
and since, for the second, the appearing of the Messiah had already 
been given as such, what remains for the first, but the finished execu- 
tion of the command, which makes the terminus a quo for the whole 
period of the 69 weeks ? Here, therefore, that only is expressly 
given, which might be inferred already from what precedes, and 
there is less room for indefiniteness, since in v. 26 that is carried 
forward, which had been said concerning the sign of the second 


period, so that the expression, "the 2 and 60 weeks," sufficiently in- 
dicates that the foregoing belongs to the 7 weeks. The last vestige of 
uncertainty, however, vanishes, when the S in Tprh is understood 
as a designation of the first terminus ad quern, for then the finished 
rebuilding of the city, in what precedes, is already expressly given 
as a mark of the first period ; and its repetition here, as such, serves 
only to strengthen faith in what was incredible for those who beheld 
the ruins of Jerusaierfi, and especially t® subjoin the two determina- 
tions, that it is firmly and irrevocably, settled, and that it would come 
to pass in a time of distress. 

That D-l!Z'n here is not to be adverbially understood with several 
interpreters, but imports a return to the former condition, appears 
from the relation to the foregoing 3' K'hS ; and that IJinn has the form- 
er of the only two meanings in general belonging to the verb, street 
anA. public place, — the others, which have been assumed as resting 
entirely on caprice, do not deserve to be mentioned, — is evident 
from its connexion with to build. For that we cannot take T\y^ with 
Hassencamp, in a figurative sense, to restore, sufiiciently appears 
from the reference to the preceding niJ^S, which can be taken only 
in a proper sense. We must also reject the interpretation of Coc- 
ceius [Lex. 805), " ccdijicabitiir quoad Jorum." For, although this 
construction not unfrequently occurs, (comp. e. g. Is. 1 : 30, Jer. 41 : 
5, Ewald, p. 545), still there is here no ground to assume it, since 
Dini is usually yi?m., and it requires that Jerusalem, or the city, which 
had not immediately preceded, should be supplied. 3in") stands in 
the singular, and without the article, to design;ite the object accord- 
ing to its widest extent. 

" And firmly is it determined, and in a time of distress." 

With singular unanimity in error, the interpreters, with the excep- 
tion of Hitzig, after the ancient translators, who plainly sought mere- 
ly to cqnjecture the meaning from the collocation with mn"!, (the 
Seventy xal avoiy.o8onrj&riasxai tlq nXccTog xal firjxog ; Theodotius 
nlaTiia Tilxoq. Vulg. platea et miiri,) refer I'llHl to the preced- 
ing. Those among the recent interpreters, who do not, like Jahn, — 
who derives from the context, the sense, a narrower street, — follow 
this caprice, compare for the most part the Chald. ]*"'"in to which 
they attribute the meaning, trench. On the contrary, however, 
Michaelis has already remarked, (Suppl. p. 951,) that ]*'"in never 


has the sense ditch, but aqueduct, and that Jerusalem, on account of 
its position, scargely needed a ditch. But it is entirely decided that 
a ditch can be no object of the verb to build, and that, in any event, 
the.Chaldee could be appealed to, only when ]"^n in the Hebrew did 
not occur in any suitable sense. Hassencamp (1. c, p. G6, IT.) ad- 
heres to the Hebrew idiom, and endeavours to give to f-iin, tlie sense, 
place of judgment, though in vain, since the word does not admit of 
this either in respect to form or sense, and since also " to build '' 
refutes this interpretation. Still, he deserves the credit of bringing 
back attention to the Hebrew idiom. According to this, y^iini can 
mean nothing else than, "it is cut off," "firmly decreed," and must 
therefore be separated from what precedes. The sense of the root 
yy\, has been admirably developed by Schultens, on Prov. 22 : 5. 
The ground meaning is that o^ prcccidere, dccidere ; from this is 
derived that of accurate, precise determination and decision. In 
the latter it occurs e. g. 1 Kings 20 : 40, "so is thy judgment," 
^I^VDr? nnx, /« decidisti, secante veliit acie. The part. pass, ynn 
has the meaning, firmly determined. Job 14 : 5, yo\ □'V''"^0 CX, 
" when his (man's) days are cut off" ; and Is. 10 : 23, ^Min JV^^, " a 
completion is cut off, determined by an irrevocable sentence." Joel 
4:14, y^'Tir] T>^.V.. stands twice as the assembling-place of the mul- 
titudes of the people, where the day of the Lord shall be held, and 
the comparison of v. 2 and 12, where the same place, designated 
as "the valley of Jehoshaphat, of the judgment of the Lord," shows 
that we must not, with Credner, interpret " valley of threshing 
sledge," but like the Seventy (tt^c Sixr,g), "valley of judgment," of 
the sententin prcscisa et absuluta. Every doubt of the employment of 
this idiom in the passage before us is removed by the occurrence of 
y^n in this prophecy twice more in the sense, " to cut off," firmly 
and irrevocably to determine. 

'j•n1^ and □"'j'^^iin pli'5 obviate every temptation, which could dis- 
quiet the pious Israelites. Present appearances afforded but a small 
prospect of a return, and much less of a restoration of the city in 
its ancient extent. After the return actually took place, a whole 
series of years elapsed in which the circumstances gave no hope of 
the restoration of the city, instead of which the Jews were obliged 
to content themselves with an open place of comparatively small 
compass. What was more natural than the supposition, that the 
promise of the Lord had been only conditional, that it had been 
rendered inoperative by the sins of the people ? This opinion the 


prophet guards against by the consoling '|''i"'ni. Another temptation 
must arise from the fact, that even when this promise was already 
fulfilled, the circumstances of the people were any thing but pros- 
perous. Hence, doubts of the Omnipotence of God might easily 
arise, as we see them, e. g., so strongly exhibited in the discourses 
of the ungodly in Malachi. In opposition to this temptation, piV3ii 
O'i^yT) afforded the proof that the times of distress would not take 
place without the knowledge and will of God, that it was not per- 
haps something forced upon him by another, but foreseen and pre- 
destinated by himself 

Only one difficulty rests upon this interpretation, that it apparent- 
ly makes, •' in distress of the times," stand for, " in a destitute time 
will this decree be executed." This very harsh brevity, which we 
are obliged to assume, as long as we refer ynn to a decree of God 
already formed, is, however, avoided, as soon as we assume that the 
decree is here only predicted, and is not made until the beginning 
of its execution. This interpretation, philologically necessary, ac- 
cording to which the decree itself falls "in the times of distress," 
not it is determined, but it becomes determined, serves also, at the 
same time, to confirm our understanding of ^3T ><vn |p, which accu- 
rately corresponds to ]*^"in. 

Verse 2G. 

" And after the 62 weeks shall be extirminated an Anointed One, 
and is not to him, and the city, and the sanctuary, a people of a 
Prince, which is to come shall lay waste, and it will end in the 
flood, and until the end is war, a decree of the ruins." 

" A?id after the 62 weeks will on Anointed One be cut off." 

As the characteristic mark of the 7 weeks had already been given, 
the prophet now proceeds to a further illustration of what concerns 
then'j; n^iJ'O, whose manifestation he had, in v. 25, placed in the 
end of the 62 weeks, following the 7 weeks. 

n'^DJ, without a further addition like that in the frequent phrases 
irajrn ni3J, or "^x^i;;; ni;?o, &c. designates, without exception, a vio- 
lent mode of death. Thus, Zech. 13 : 8, 9, it stands opposed to ^U, as 
a designation of death by the sword, while the latter imports that 
by hunger and pestilence; comp. 1 Kings 11 : 6. Thus is it the 


standing expression for the ruin of the ungodly, comp., e. g., Ps. 37 : 
9, Prov. 2 : 22, which, in order to render a supernatural cause more 
manifest, is constantly represented as violent and sudden. 

t?V>0, in accordance with the whole character of the prophecy, 
is intentionally left indefinite, without the article indicating its iden- 
tity with the T":: n^K/o. This could the more readily happen, since 
the careful and unprejudiced reader could easily determine this point 
from the context. As n^t^o of itself implied a king of Israel, as this 
designation was made still clearer by the following contrast with a 
Prince, who was to come, so must the reader be led at once to think 
of the Messiah, because prophecy knows no other king of Israel 
after the exile. At the end of the 69 weeks should the TJ3 n"'!t'D 
appear. Who other than he could now well be thought of, when here, 
in the further prosecution of the. subject, the violent death of an 
Anointed One is announced, to take place after the completion of 
the 7 and the 62 weeks? The death of the Anointed One is placed 
in the verse before us in a causal connexion with the desolation 
of the city and the temple, in like manner as, v. 25, is his appearance 
with the imparting of ail the blessings which had been promised 
in V. 24. How could one fail to perceive, that cursing and blessing, 
as they fall in the same period, belong also to the same author, that 
the former was the consequence of the violent slaying, here predicted 
of the same Anointed One, who should bestow the fulness of the 
blessing, and has actually bestowed it, upon those who have received 
him, and allowed themselves, through him. to confirm the covenant? 
And indeed the more so, since the violent death of the Messiah had 
already, before the time of Daniel, been predicted by Isaiah, chap. 
53, where (v. 8,) the entirely corresponding expression occurs, " he 
has been cut off from the land of the living," and after him, by Zech. 
12 : 10. After the fulfilment, all uncertainty, since the calculation 
of the years might readily remove it, has been rendered perfectly 

" A7id is not to him." 

The different interpretations of these words fall under two classes. 
Those, in which an attempt is made to give them a meaning, with- 
out assuming an ellipsis, and those in which such an assumption is 
made. We will consider the former class first. We oppose to them 
all, the thesis, "that |>s* has never any other meaning than non- 

INTERPRETATION. — V. 2fi. 345 

existence, and it is not; J'X only the latter." It is, therefore, entirely 
impossible, without the assumption of an ellipsis, to make the words 
bear any tolerable sense. 

1. Very widely diffused among the older theologians is the inter- 
pretation, " ei non sibi." Vitringa, 1. c. p. 258 : " Non adeo sui, 
quam aliorvm causa, electorum nimirum et credcntium, qui fructu 
mortis ipsius gavisuri sunt." It has been lately defended in Tho- 
luck's Litt. Anz. Jahrg. 1830, p. 274. It is however to be rejected, 
for the simple reason that j'N is never, either in the earlier or later 
usage, confounded with xb, but always distinguished from it in such 
a manner, that xS is a mere negation, |'X denies existence. This 
will readily appear on a nearer examination of all the passages, 
which Gesenius, in the Lchrg., p. 830, and in the Thes. s. v. has 
cited in favor of this permutation of px with xS. . Exod. 3 : 2, 
l3i< l^rx njiprti, we cannot liere suppose such a permutation on 
account of the suff. For how could a mere negation have a suff. ? 
735\* is not Prcpt. but Partic. in Pii. without D, which is most fre- 
quently wanting in precisely this Conj. ; comp. Ewald, p. 254. Jer. 
38:5, -I3T D90>5 h^y ^^.7:n px--'^ is not to be explained, "for 
the king cannot avail any thing against you " ; but rather, following 
the accents, with Kimchi, Cocceius, Michaelis, " non est rex is, qui 
possit apud vos vel contra vos quidqnam," which gives a much 
stronger sense, renders more prominent the feebleness of the king, 
and is also favored by the position of the words, " for the king is 7tot 
he," which intimates a contrast of that which is, with that which, 
according to the nature of the case, ought to be. Job 35 : 15, 
13X '\T)3 |'.X"'3 nnjM. is not to be translated " sed nunc cum non ani- 
madvertat ira ejus," and the less so, because here the Stat, ahsol. 
j;x stands, but rather, " and now, because it is not, his anger visits, 
and he cares not much for pride ; " " because it is not," i. e. patient 
waiting for him, to which the speaker exhorts in the foregoing verses, 
which he had represented as the duty of Job. Cocceius : " Homo in 
examen venit, ut probetur ejus spes et patientia. Quando ilia non 
exstat, invadit ira ejus, qua odit et amolitur peccatum, etiam in iis, 
quos salvos vult." Ps. 135 : 17, and 1 Sam. 21 : 9, the idea of 
existence already contained in J'X, is made still more prominent by 
ty;., entirely analogous to the usual method of giving intensity to the 
verbal idea, by placing the Injin. ahsol. before the finite tense of the 
same verb; Dri'33 nn-t^;-j"}< f]X is, e. g., n;nJ? xS n^n, &,c.: 
" there is surely no breath in their mouth; " the pxi (comp. on this 
VOL. n. 44 


Ewald, p. 408,) n^m ^X"nnn ns -i?;., " hast thou then absolutely no 
spear." To this philological argument, which is of itself decisive, 
must be added the unsuitableness of the sense. For who is cut off for 
his own good? It would be entirely different if iS could signify, "for 
his own sake." For then would the death, which he deserved on his 
own account, be contrasted with that endured for the guilt of others, 
and we might justly compare Is. 53, where this thought is so strong- 
ly exhibited. 2. Others explain ; " and nothing is to him." So 
Cocceius : discipiiU dispergentur, — cinget eum coitus malejicorum. 
Gousset, omnia ei desunt. But the meaning, nothing, however 
current in the lexicons and commentaries, is falsely attributed to 
I'X and I'X. It does not deny the quiddity, but the being. Who- 
ever would become instructed in the difference between them, 
stamped upon all languages, will find satisfaction in the metaphysics 
of Aristotle. We will here also examine in order the passages, which 
are commonly cited in proof of the abovementioned fictitious mean- 
ing. Is. 41 : 24, pxp D.i:^5<t~in., not, " ye are less than nothing," but " ye 
are less than non-existence, as if ye were not ;" 40 : 17, j;«3 D'Un "Sd 
IIJ.j, not, " all nations are as nothing," but " they are as non-existence, 
as not existing, before him." Ps. 39 : 6, "JIAJ. J'ND '^.'7^, " my life is 
as non-existence before thee." Hagg. 2 : 3, in reference to the new 
temple, which was altogether diminutive in comparison with the for- 
mer : D5\Ji;;? p.'^-ji inoD xiSn. Far more correct than the modern 
interpreters, Jerome : " Non talis est ista, quce cernitur, ut quodam 
modo non esse vidcatur ? " Is it not, as if it were not ? Exod. 22 : 2, 
" He shall restore it (the thief that which was stolen) ; i^ j'X DX, 
so shall he be sold, to restore that which was stolen, to make com- 
pensation." Here, that which is to be supplied, is evident from the 
context. When there is not to him, that whereof he can make 
restitution. 2 Chron, 5 : 10, m'nibn \JK' p:; |nx3 j'x. The words 
|nx3 I'X could here, standing alone, as little mean, " there was 
nothing in the ark," as could r\ri xS. The ellipsis, the something 
else, is supplied by the contrast. Precisely so, 2 Kings 17 : 18, 
n^S HTin; pi ix*i?'j xS. From this passage we might conclude, 
that nS means nothing, with the same right as from the foregoing 
that px has this meaning. Ps. 19 : 7, '^y}Q\ yi<. is plainly not to be 
explained with Gesenius, " there is nothing concealed," but " there 
exists not a thing concealed." Exod. 8:0; •iJ'rl'^x T^iT\\2 px, Gesen- 
ius explains, " nihil (st sicut Jehovah dciis nostcr." But that which 
is to be supplied after " there is not as the Lord our God," is suffi- 

INTERPRRTATIOiN. — V. 20. 347 

ciently determined by the antithesis. Nothing, is by no means suit- 
able, since the God of Israel is designed to be especially compared 
with the idols of other nations; comp. 9: 14. — px accordingly 
means nothing, just as little as Wl something. It is scarcely con- 
ceivable how this error could have gained such general currency. 
To whom did it ever occur, to assert that in Arabic (J^^S* may 
mean also, by way of permutation, "there is nothing"? Who would 
venture to remark, that in English, we often use to he and nut to he, 
for something and nothing"^. 3. Others, as L'Empereur {AdJncchiad. 
p. 191), and lately Sack (Apol. p. 288) and Hitzig, explain, "and 
no one is to him." But that j'N could ever mean no one is, or no 
one, is as great an error as the one just refuted. j'X serves as a 
paraphrase of no man, no one, only when the person is afterwards 
mentioned ; e. g. " it is not one, who terrifies," Tinn pN. From this 
it does not follow, that |'N could mean, " there is no one." The one 
lies here in the word T'"?nn. So all the examples in Gesenius, 
1 Sam. 9:4, " they went through the land Schalaim, \\ii\, and were 
not ;" not " no one was." The subject, the she asses, is left out for 
the sake of brevity, just as the object is in the preceding and follow- 
ing INVD xSn. This, however, can be done only when, as there, the 
subject or object has been already designated, — what they found 
not, could be nothing else than what the writer had previously 
designated as the object of their search, — the she asses. The 
example, therefore, has no application to the* passages before us. 
Had the prophet wished to express the sense assumed in this expla- 
nation, he would have written inx after y^, just as, 10 : 21, in^ |''X] 
'SI! P).Dr>P- 4. Ch. B. Michaelis and Sostmann explain : " non crit 
sibi, non amplius inter viventcs reperieturJ' But px never includes 
the person ; it does not mean, " he is not," but " it is not." Should 
this sense be allowed, instead of px, as in the passages which are 
cited as parallel, like Gen. 5 : 24, ^ly^ must necessarily stand. And, 
moreover, the reference of an action or a passion to the dative pro- 
noun, intimating the subject, is suitable only where the discourse 
has a predominant subjective character, comp. e. g. Ezek. 37 : 11 ; 
but not here, where directly the opposite is the case. 

It is therefore certain, that the words are not complete in them- 
selves, and that something must be supplied. This was seen by all 
the ancient translators without exception In none of them do we 
find either of the four abovementioned false interpretations of px. 
They differ from each other, only either like Aquila {f^oXo&Qsv&^ai- 


Tttt rjXsififiivog ovx I'aiiv uvtm,) and Symm. {iy.y.oni'^aErai XgiOTog 
xal ovx vTidg^si amw,) and the Syriac, in imitating the indefiniteness 
of the text, or, like the Seventy and the Vulg., in supplying the 
ellipsis in the translation. 

It is therefore self-evident, that what is to be supplied should be 
taken only from what immediately precedes, and that all interpreta- 
tions, in which this is not done, are entirely capricious, and cannot 
receive our concurrence. In this respect Bertholdt has the most 
widely erred by his, " he will have no successor out of his family." 
The lot of those is truly to be lamented, who, occupying themselves 
with the explanation of Scripture, impart such capricious views. 
Their employment is mere guess-work, which can never be certain 
whether it has hit upon that which is correct. More tolerable is the 
explanation of numerous interpreters " there is to him no helper," 
because what is then to be supplied is of wider extent, and therefore 
easier to be conjectured. This is true also, for another reason, of 
the explanation of several after the Severity, "judicium non erit ei, 
I, e. crimen quod judicium promcruit," because there is some ground 
for the suspicion of what is to be supplied, in " he shall be cut off," 
which not unfrequently occurs of the punishment of evil doers. 

If we seek to supply that which is wanting out of the foregoing, 
it must be something which belongs to the anointed, as such. As 
" he will be cut off" expresses the extinction of his personal exist- 
ence, so must " and is not to him " express the extinction of his 
possession, and that not an accidental one, but that which consti- 
tutes his essential characteristic. What this is, in respect to an 
Anointed One, a Prince, cannot in itself be doubtful, and appears 
plainly enough from Ezek. 21 : 32; VP^r\}^ i3DB'*f!ri I'S "iti/N kd n;r, 
" until He comes, to whom the judgment (the dominion) is, and I 
give it to him." That the dominion is to him, is here the charac- 
teristic of- the Messiah, as King. 1 Sam. 10 : 1 ; Samuel says to 
Saul, " The Lord has anointed thee over his inheritance for a 
Prince." The characteristic mark of an anointed one was, there- 
fore, to be a Prince over God's inheritance, over Israel. This mark 
vanished, the dominion of the anointed over his people was destroy- 
ed, when by their crime he was violently put to death. As to the 
sense, therefore, the Vulgate is entirely correct: " c? non erit ejus 
populus, qui eum negaturus est." And Jahn errs only in supplying 
the unnatural uy, people. The correctness of the above interpreta- 
tion is strikingly confirmed by what follows. With the negative 


consequence of the cutting off of the Messiah, the cessation of his 
dominion over the covenant people, the positive, the desolation of 
the city and sanctuary by people of a prince, who should come, is 
well connected ; just as in Zech., chap. 11, after the Messiah, hin- 
dered in the execution of the pastoral office by the resistance of the 
people, has relinquished it and broken his shepherd's staff, the poor 
flock is given up without rescue to the greatest misery, and the 
whole land is overflowed with enemies, who have hitherto been re- 
strained only by the invisible power of the good Shepherd and King. 

" And the city and the sanctuary, people of a Prince, who comes, 
will lay waste." 

Several interpreters, as J. D. Michaelis and Jahn, have supposed, 
that by TJJ here the same is to be understood, who had before been 
called TJJ n'lyn and n'l^'O, appealing to the fact, that the destruction 
of Jerusalem in the New Testament is commonly attributed to 
Christ. But that this is erroneous, that by Tn rather a heathen, 
and, as. the result showed, a Roman Prince, and by "people," not 
indeed, as it is commonly translated, " the people," his host, is desig- 
nated, appears from the following reasons. 1. Even the bare TJi, 
while the Messiah had been designated by TJ] H'^yn, and n't^n, leads 
to an antithesis, and does not allow us to think of any other than a 
Gentile Prince. 2. This antithesis is expressed as plainly as possi- 
ble by X3n subjoined to T'JJ, which serves as directly to render more 
definite this TJJ, as one who was to come from without, as n't^D 
serves this purpose, in reference to the former. This use of N3n, to 
express a stricter definition and a contrast, is proved by its gram- 
matical relation to T^lJ, as in the case of the Messiah, the gram- 
matical connexion of the two names H'tyn and n'JJ, the position of 
the former, before the latter, which is afterwards used alone, clearly 
expresses the same purpose. We must not, as is commonly done, 
translate N3n TJ], "of a coming Prince," but rather, "of a Prince, 
who comes." The article forbids us to join X3n, as an adjective, with 
TJJ. As the rule, that a noun rendered definite by an article can- 
not take an indefinite adjective, is entirely without exception ; so 
also is the rule, that no indefinite noun can be joined with a definite 
adjective. It is true, that even Ewald (p. 626) asserts, that such an 
anomaly is sometimes found in later books ; but the examples cited 
in its favor all belong to that class, which he designates in the note, 


probably subjoined at a later period, as a different one : "when the 
substantive is actually undetermined, the adjective renders distinct- 
ly prominent a class, Ps. 104 : 18, ' mountains, the high.' The 
adjective has then the sense, ' which is.' " This is so very evident 
(who does not see, e. g., that (Zech. 4 : 7,) Snjrt in is not to be 
translated " the great mountain," but " mountain, thou great," 
which is far more emphatic than the former 1) as to need no 
farther proof. " A Prince, who comes," accordingly alludes to 
another prince, who was already present, to a native king, and as 
such, the Messiah had been previously mentioned. X13 is in Daniel, 
particularly in chap. 11, (comp. e. g. v. 13, 16, 21, 40, 41,) the 
standing, constantly recurring expression for a journey to a foreign 
land in general, and especially for the foreign expeditions of con- 
quering kings. 

Several interpreters join N3n not to TJi, but to GV_, "people of a 
Prince, that come." But this interpretation is refuted by the cir- 
cumstance, that X|n is plainly designed to distinguish the person 
of a certain prince, from that of another. In respect to the people, 
such a distinction, which the article in X3ri shows to have been 
intended, would be entirely inadmissible, since in the whole prophe- 
cy (the omission of the article shovvs that D;; has the sense, people, 
according to the connexion, warriors,) there is nothing said of a 
domestic host. 

" And it loill end in the Jlood." 

The question arises, to what the suff. in v:fp is to be referred. 
Several recent interpreters suppose, to the heathen prince. But this 
supposition is, according to both its modifications, to be rejected. 
The one, " Devastatio, quom populus ilk venturus exercebit, tanta 
erit, quanta devastatio, quam inundatio efficit, i. e. maxima," is 
liable to the objection, that v^p in general cannot be understood 
actively, and, particularly in Daniel, is used only to signify the end 
which any one suffers ; comp. 1 1 : 45. The other, according to 
which the end of the Prince himself is here predicted, has the whole 
context against it ; since, in what follows, the description of the 
desolations is carried forward, which are to proceed from this same 
Prince, whose destruction is here supposed to be foretold, and since 
the following Vp , which stands in manifest relation to lifp, refers to 
the covenant people, and the holy land ; but of an overthrow of the 

INTERPRETATION. — V. 20. 35 1 

conqueror, there is not, in what follows, the slightest trace ; so that, 
referred to him, the words would seem to have been placed in the 
text at random. 

By far the greatest number of interpreters refer the suff. to that, 
whose devastation and entire desolation is predicted in what pre- 
cedes and follows. These, however, differ from each other in its 
grammatical interpretation. Several, as Geier, refer the suff. to the 
city and temple, where, however, we should rather expect the plural. 
Others, as Sostmann, merely to the temple, though we cannot see, 
why this only should be made prominent, since in what precedes, 
and immediately follows, both city and temple are, at the same time, 
the subject of discourse. The correct view was taken by Vitringa 
and Ch. B. Michaelis : " Et finis ejus rei, quod nempc urbem ac 
tcniplum populiis duels vtnturi sit vastaturus." Examples of a sim- 
ilar reference of the suff., — no less than of the proti. sep., comp. 
e. g. the Nin, in reference to a whole preceding proposition, Zech, 
11 : 11, iet. 32 : 6-8, — not to a definite preceding noun, but to 
the subject itself, are not unfrequent, e. g. Ezek. 18 : 26, " When 
the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and doeth iniquity, 
and dies, Drj''Sy , on that account," viz. because he has forsaken 
righteousness, and practised unrighteousness. Is. 64 : 4 ; " Behold, 
thou art wroth, for we have sinned ; dSi;* Dri3, in them," the sin and 
the anger, " are we now already an eternity." Prov. 14 : 13, nnnnx, 
finis ejus rei, viz. when any one laughs. In Ps. 81, so greatly 
misunderstood by recent interpreters, on account of its exclusive 
reference to the passover, it is said, v. 26, ''for a testimony in Israel, 
has he placed it,'-' the celebration of his festival with the praise and 
thanksgiving recommended in what precedes, lOK^ ; comp. other ex- 
amples, as Exod, 10 : 11, Josh. 2 : 4, in Ewald, p. 645. 

The 3 in ^t5^5 is taken by several as the so called Beth essenfice: 
" his end will be an overflowing." Were it ^yti'D, this interpreta- 
tion might, in the main, be justified, although the so called Beth 
essenticB, as it is commonly understood, is a mere fiction of the 
grammarians. 5 often stands when the relation of the particular 
to the general is to be indicated, since, as a part, it belongs to its 
whole. So, e. g., Ps. 39:7, "Only in the shadow, D'p.V^, does 
man walk." The walking of man belongs to the general category 
of the shadow. Ps. 42 : 11 ; " In a murder, riinn, in my bones 
mine enemies reproach me." The geuus for the species. The 
reproach is the murder in the bones, the murder which pierces to 


the inmost bones. Ps. 7S : 55 ; " He caused them to fall, nSn; h^T}A, 
as an inheritance." And thus "^MV/^ li'D would mean, "the end 
of the desolation " belongs to the general category of the overflow- 
ing. Michaelis : " Vastatio ilia circa extrema instur diluvii erit, 
ita ut minis omnia obniat, quemadinodum inundatio longe laleque 
grassans, quidquid ei obviani erit, puuidatur ac sternit." But this 
whole view is completely disproved by the article in '\^.'^2, which 
has been strangely overlooked by interpreters. This shows, that 
the subject of discourse is one particular and definite flood, and 
indeed, such an one as had been already mentioned in the preced- 
ing context. The flood, therefore, can be only a figurative designa- 
tion of the warlike expedition inundating the land, which had been 
spoken of immediately before, and the sense only, " the desolation 
of city and temple," will not be merely partial or transient, but be 
completed during this same expedition, which may be compared to 
a great inundation. This explanation is confirmed by the usage of 
Daniel elsewhere, in which warlike expeditions are compared to a 
flood. Thus 11 : 12; "And the arms of the inundation, •"]Qi^n, the 
Egyptian hosts, which had previously done so much mischief to 
others, shall be overwhelmed by him and destroyed." V. 26 ; iVni 
f]lt3!i'''., his host, i.e. the host of Anliochus, will overflow; comp. 
V. 40, Nah. 1 : 8, Jer. 47 : 2. 

It now appears still more clearly, how inadmissible is the refer- 
ence of these words to the heathen prince, and especially as the 
recent interpreters suppose, to Antiochus Epiphanes. For, did he 
meet his end in the same expedition, in which he laid waste the 
city and temple ? The force of this argument appears from the 
circumstance, that even such interpreters as Hitzig, who have made 
the grammatical interpretation their chief object, and who therefore 
can scarcely be supposed to have committed an oversight, have felt 
compelled to disregard the article. He remarks, 1. c. p. 150 ; " He 
(Ant. Epiph.), found an end in a military expedition, for which ^^.\i^ 
is figuratively used." There is rather here a plain antithesis with 
the oppression by Antiochus Epiphanes. Of this Daniel never 
prophecies, without at the same time announcing its end. Chap. 
11 : 36, it is said of him; "And he is prosperous, until the anger 
is completed." This oppression, therefore, is notn^|"nj? (11 : 25); 
it first reaches its end with the end of its object. This is here 
expressly asserted, and appears also from the fact, that the prophe- 
cy closes with the threatening of the entire ruin of the city and 


temple, excluding a mere partial desolation by the expression itself, 
and containing not the smallest allusion to a restoration. 

" And unto the end is toar, a decree of ruins." 

Interpreters mostly unite these words in one sentence, " and until 
the end of the war is a decree of ruins." We, however, prefer the 
view expressed in the translation, because the manifest reference 
of ]'p. to the foregoing li'p is more natural in the end of the whole 
transaction ; because riDn'7D has no article, as it must have, if the 
subject of discourse were the definite war mentioned before, pre- 
cisely like '^y'k^' ; because it designates the definite flood predicted in 
the preceding verse ; and then, moreover, because the decree of ruins 
has its terminus a quo rather than its terminus ad quern in the end 
of the war, a difBculty, which these interpreters obviate only by 
the inadmissible rendering of mnati' by devastations. The sense is, 
" the war, and the decree of ruins, will terminate only with the 
end of the object." It is not a transient, hostile oppression, which is 
here treated of, like that, e. g., in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, 
but such an one as Avould cause utter destruction to the city and 
the temple. 

As to the form, npnj can be stat. ahsol. like niDDJ, Zech. 11 : 9; 
comp. Ewald, p. 346. But as it elsewhere, when in the stat. ahsol., 
always has the form 'r\%-}m (comp. Is. 10: 23, 28 : 22), as this form 
occurs not only chap. 11 : 30, but also in the prophecy before us, 
V. 27, as this participle in Niphal always has the force of a substan- 
tive, the cut off, viz. sentence, probably a designation of a firm and 
irrevocable decision, borrowed from the judicial language (see on 
V. 27), it is best to understand it with the Syriac, Geier, Hassen- 
camp, Hitzig, as stat. constr. 

niODtJ^, according to its very derivation as a participle of the in- 
transitive verb DOti^ (comp. on v. 27), can mean nothing but loca 
vastata, ruincB, by no means devastations, in an active sense. This 
is confirmed also by the usage of the language. It is found in this 
chapter itself. V. 18 : " Behold our desolations," irnbniy. In 
Ezek. 36 : 4, it is combined as an adjective with n'i^'^n, and in Is. 
61 : 4, it twice stands with it in the parallelism. It never, even in 
appearance, assumes the nature of an abstract. The " decree of 
the ruins " is the decree to which the ruins in so far belong, as they 
are caused by it. 

VOL. II. 45 


Remarkable is the reference in which these last words stand to 
the close of v. 25, indicated by the use of the verb y^n, in both 
passages. By an irrevocable decree of God, will the city, now lying 
in ruins, be rebuilt ; by an equally irrevocable decree, will it again 
sink in ruins. 

Verse 27. 

'* And one week will strengthen the covenant with many, and the 
half of the week will cause to cease sacrifice and meat offering, and 
over the summit of abomination comes the destroyer, and, indeed, 
until that which is completed and cut off shall drop upon that v;hich 
is laid waste." 

" A7id one loeek ivill confirm the covenant with many.'^ 

Several interpreters take as the subject of "I'^^n the Messiah, 
others the heathen prince. Both are equally erroneous, since the 
mention of neither had immediately preceded. The subject is rather 
the weclc. Theodotion : xott dvvai.itoosi dia&-)jy.i]v nolloiq e^ ^la. 
And we have here an instance of the frequent idiom, according to 
which, that which happens in a place or a time is attributed to it as 
an action ; comp. in reference to the former, e. g., Ps. 65 : 4 ; " The 
hills exult, the valleys rejoice." In reference to the latter, Mai. 3 : 19 ; 
" The day that cometh shall burn them up." Job 3:3; " The night 
which said, a man is conceived." V. 10, where the night is cursed, 
" because it shut not up the doors of the womb." 30 : 17 ; " The 
night pierces my bones," See abundant examples, from Arabian 
writers, in Schultens, p. 41 ; in other writers, by Gronov. Observv. 
1, 1. Chap. 2. 

Some interpreters, (lastly Scholl, 1. c. p. 20, 24,) maintain, that 
the " one week " is not to be so connected with the preceding 69, 
as though it immediately belonged to them, that the discourse is 
only of a hehdomas qucepiam, which must not indeed vary too far 
from the remaining 69. This "one week" is that, at the end of 
which the destruction of Jerusalem falls. But it is easy to see, that 
this supposition did not spring from an impartial investigation of the 
text, but from a difficulty arising from a comparison of the prophecy 
and fulfilment. Vitringa, since whose time the interpretation of 
this prophecy, after having made no small progress, has, on the 


whole, only declined, furnishes us, in the Hypotyposis HisioricB et 
Chronol. sacrcc, with a guiding thread, the value of which is still 
undiminished. Among the leading principles for the interpretation 
of this prophecy, he says (p. 104) : " Tcmpus illud LXX. hebdoma- 
darinn, s. 490 annorum, prcBnvntiari tanquam quod continua et non 
intcrrupta scric decursurum csset. ab initio usque ad terminum sivc 
complnnhntnm suiim, tarn rcspectu totius hvjus tempons LXX. hcb- 
domadarnm, quam ra^pectu partium, in quas hm hebd. dividitntur, 
hebd. 7, 62 et unius licbdomadoi." What indeed can be clearer than 
this proposition 1 Precisely 70 weeks in all are to elapse : how 
then, without the most unrestrained caprice, can we assume a not 
inconsiderable intermediate period between the (S^ and the one, 
v/hich, together, plainly make up these seventy ? Who that proceeds 
in such an arbitrary manner, can still continue to lay any stress on 
the chronological proof of the agreement of prophecy and fulfilment? 
Whoever takes to himself this liberty must also grant it, and can 
make no objection if another chooses, e. g., to insert between the 7 
and the 62; a dozen intercalary weeks. What, however, especially 
refutes this supposition, is, that it cannot point out in the week 
which it assumes, the characteristic mark of this last week, the con- 
firmation of the covenant. For in the time of the Roman invasion, 
where were those mighty demonstrations of mercy, which were such 
a confirmation of the covenant, as to render it proper to give promi- 
nence to them alone, and pass over in silence those, which belonged 
to the actual seventieth week, as well as the week itself? The 
advocates of this interpretation would gladly free themselves from 
this objection, by regarding the one week to which the confirmation 
belongs, as the actual 70th, and only the following half week as 
lying without the cycle of the 70, and embracing the time of the 
Jewish war. But here a fatal objection intervenes, the article in 
j.'OK'n, which does not allow us to think of the half of a week in 
general, but only of the half of the definite, before-mentioned week. 

This false view has been occasioned by the opinion, that the 
destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans must necessarily be drawn 
within the circle of the chronological determinations of the prophe- 
cy ; an opinion, which led the sagacious Scaliger to the most forced 
assumptions, while Vitringa, 1. c. adopts the sound canon : " Termi- 
nnri has hebdomadns in triennio illn, quod moitem Jcsu Christ prox- 
ime ercepit, qua; nimirvm Jcsu Chrisii mors incidere dcbuit in medium 
hcbdomadcB ultima;, post 7 et 62 hebd. jam clapsas." That this 


opinion is entirely destitute of support, we shall see when we come 
to explain " the half of the week will cause sacrifice and meat 
offering to cease." 

That T^^n has the meaning to mahe strong, to strengthen, and 
that we must not, with Bertholdt, p. 066, invent for it another, ap- 
pears from the derivation, the use of Piel, e. g. Zech. 10:6- 12, 
and of Hiph. in the only passage where it occurs besides, Ps. 12 : 6, 
T'ajJ ^ywh'^, " to our tongues will v/e impart strength ; we will so 
arm them with lies and calumnies, that no man shall be able to resist 
us." This interpretation is the only one, that is philologically cor- 
rect, and completely suits the parallelism. I'^jn has there, also, the 
meaning corruboravit, only with a certain modification, which the 
construction with '? has occasioned. The same modification is 
found so often in Hiph. that it would seem it may be employed in 
all verbs. Thus, e. g., D'lVri, with the accus.^ " to make righteous," 
with S, "to impart righteousness"; nnin, with the accus., "to 
praise," with ^, " to impart praise," &c. 

The omission of the article in n'13 shows, that r\""i5 T^J.n corre- 
sponds with "to confirm a covenant" in English, and that we must 
not, with several interpreters, take n'"!? as a definite designation of 
the already e.xisting covenant, n"''!3ri, which should be confirmed 
and glorified by the blessings of the Messiah ; on the contrary, 
nothing whatever is here said, as to whether the covenant is one 
already existing, or one entirely new. (Comp., e. g., Hassencamp, 
p. 81.) The indefiniteness belongs, indeed, only to the expression. 
As to the matter of fact, the language as it now stands is far more 
emphatic, than Ts^'^,'^ D'pn in the antithesis with the quality of the 
previous covenant, which, because not confirmed by such illustrious 
manifestations of the divine mercy as now appear, must be consid- 
ered as weaker in reference to that now to be concluded, and which 
rests on the forgiveness of sins, the imparting of the everlasting 
righteousness, and the anointing of a holy of holies. Finally, 
throughout the whole book, nna occurs only of the covenant of God 
with Israel, which is of itself sufficient to refute, what is liable to so 
many objections, the explanation of Bertholdt, of a covenant which 
Antiochus Epiphanes had made with apostates from among the 
covenant people. 

The article in Q'?lS must not be overlooked, as it has been uni- 
formly by interpreters. It shows that the discourse is not concern- 
ing manv in general, but definitely concerning those, who were 


manifest to the reader, from the circumstances of the discourse, as 
definite in their kind (coinp. Evvald, p. 567). Such a definiteness, 
however, can be derived only from v. 24. The imparting of all the 
blessings, which the prophet there promises, he here embraces in 
one comprehensive expression, " to confirm a covenant " ; and that 
he does this, he shows by representing the objects of the confirma- 
tion, as those, who do not here first come forward, but are already 
known from what precedes, and who were the objects of the former 
gracious promises. 

That here, as in chap. 24, that only is spoken of, which the Mes- 
siah should vouchsafe to the believers from among the Jews, is evi- 
dent from the occasion of the prophecy. Daniel was moved to make 
intercession, by his concern, lest the Lord would entirely reject 
Israel, on account of his sins. What, therefore, was more natural, 
than that the divine answer should embrace only what was suited 
to remove this concern 1 

We give the admirable paraphrase of the words by Vitringa, Ohss. 
t. II. p. 258: " Habehit tamcn cleus intei'ca rationem. dcctorum, bene 
multorum, (-/.loy^v /«'^iTO? servandorum, quibus a Christo et 
apostolis ejus foedus diviiKs gratice expondur, illustribus tarn miracu- 
lis, quam danis spir. sancti inter illos confirmandum ct obsignandum, 
per 7 potissimum aiinos, ducendos a tempore, quo dominus munus 
suum publicum infer Judceos auspicatus fucrit.'^ 

" And the half of the week will abolish sacrifice and meat offering.^' 

That the confirmation of the covenant extends throughout the 
whole week, in the midst of which the sacrificial service ceases, 
shows that this must be, for believers, not a distressing, but a joyful 
result; that it stands in connexion with the destruction of the tem- 
ple, predicted immediately after, proves that, in respect to the unbe- 
lieving part of the people, it is to be considered as a judgment. If 
now we inquire for the cause of this cessation of the sacrificial ser- 
vice, we find it to be the death of tire Messiah. That the expres- 
sion, " after the 62 weeks," (reckoned from the going forth of the 
word, after 69,) v. 26, must not be understood, as though the Mes- 
siah should be cut off at the very commencement of the 70th week, 
is evident from the fact, that otherwise his appearance (comp. v. 25, 
" from the going forth of the word . . . until the Messiah, are 69 
weeks,") and his death would coincide ; and that we must not go 


beyond the middle of the 70th week, in which the abolition of the sac- 
rificial service is placed, is plain, from the words, " after 69 weeks." 

But in how far was the sacrificial service abolished by the death 
of Christ? This question, so far as this abolition is to be consider- 
ed as a blessing, is easily answered. Tiie Levitical service as weak 
and unprofitable, (Heb. 7 : 18,) was done away, when, by the death 
of Christ, the true forgiveness of sin had been obtained, the ever- 
lasting righteousness brought in, and, instead of the ancient visible 
temple, a new spiritual holy of holies anointed. The shadow van- 
ished before the substance, the type before the antitype. In refer- 
ence, however, to the abolition as a punishment, Frischmuth has 
already remarked, 1. c. p. 932 : " Non agiiur de mido facto, sed de 
ahrogatione Icgithna." The sacrificial service was an attestation by 
God himself, of his covenant with Israel. (Comp. on Zech. 9 : 11.) 
As now this covenant was abolished by the murder of his Son, so 
also at the same time was the sacrificial service, as to its substance, 
which rested on its being introduced and approved by God, and it 
was of no importance, if the cessation of sacrifices, as outward ac- 
tions, did not follow till some time afterwards. For this was only an 
outward declaration of the decree already executed at the moment 
of the death of Christ. It served only to take from Israel, what they 
possessed but in imagination. In like manner, also, the destruction 
of city and temple by the Romans was only the outward revelation 
of what, in fact, already existed. The moment the death of Christ 
took place, Jerusalem was no longer the holy, the temple no lor>ger 
an house of God, but an abomination. Hence, in reference to all 
three objects in the prophecy, only the moment is. made prominent, 
and chronologically designated, in which all that followed was al- 
ready included, and from which it was afterwards developed. An 
entirely similar mode of representation occurs in Zech. 11, where 
the madness of internal dissension and the desolation of city and 
land by outward enemies, are placed in immediate connexion with 
the rejection of the Messiah, and the relinquishment of his pastoral 
office. The supernatural agency, which had hitherto guarded both, 
ceased with this event, an^ it was of little consequence how much 
or how little time the natural causes, which accomplished both, 
required for their developement. 

Theodoret calls our attention to the circumstance, that what is 
here predicted as a consequence of the death of Christ, was symbol- 
ized at the moment of its taking place, by the rending of the veil of 


the temple (Matt. 27 : 51, Mark 15 : 38) ; and how just this remark 
is, according to both respects in which the cessation of the sacri- 
ficial service is here predicted, appears from the excellent remarks 
of Calvin, respecting the import of this, symbolic action (^Harm. 
Evang., p. 368), from which we extract only what follows : " Veli 
scissura non modo ceremoniarum, qua. sub lege vigebant, ubrogatio 
fult, sed gucedam ccelorum apertio, lit nunc familiariter deus Jilii siii 
membra ad se invitct. Intcrca admoniti fucrunt Judfzi, jinem exter- 
nis sacrificiis esse impositum, nullum posthac vettris sacerdotii usum 
fore ; etiamsi staret templi cedificium, non amplius illic consueto ritu 
colendum esse deum : sed quia jam umhrarum substantia et Veritas 
completa erat,fguras legales in spiritum conversas esse." 

" And over the summit of abomination comes the destroyer." 

Literally, " over summit of abomination comes destroyer." We take 
^J3, iving, as a figurative designation of the summ,it. It is easy to 
justify this on philological grounds, since this idiom occurs in Hebrew, 
as is generally confessed. The wings of a garment, for its ends ; the 
wings of the earth, Is. 11 : 13, for its extremities; in the Rabbinic 
dialect, nxn •'•jjd, alts pulmonis, i. e. extremitates pulmonis ; in the 
New Testament, nTigv/iov tov Ieqov, Matt. 4 : 5, Luke 4 : 9, spoken 
of the summit, not, as some suppose, of a wing, but of the temple 
itself; comp., in opposition to Kuinol and others, Fritzsche. It is so 
natural, that it is found in nearly all languages. We cite only some 
examples from the Greek : nTegvyior is explained by Suidas and Hesy- 
chius directly by uxqcotj^qiov. The latter gives, the following examples 
of this usage : nrigvyicc, /.tsQog rt tov qi\uov, xrxl tov Tivsvfiovog tov XoSov 
T« anQa, tov btrog to uvoi, y.ul ^Itpovg to. exaTSQCO&sv, ^ t« axga 
Twp luttTibiv. According to Pollux, the extreme part of the rudder is 
called TiTfQa, (1, 62.) Several passages, however, from Greek writers, 
which have been adduced by various older interpreters after the exam- 
ple of Nicol. Abraham, in the Pharus, are not to the point ; such 
are those in which atTog or usTolixaTa (comp. Suid. s. v. and Pollux) 
occurs, as a designation of the roofs of a building in general, and 
especially of the temple, according to Suid. and Hesych. ; also 
uTigv/eg, because these appellations relate only to the form of the 
roofs, and do not designate them as the highest part of the building, 
which alone would suit the passage before us. — In respect to D^'V-ipK', 
abomination, we do not exclude the special reference to idols, partly 


because this reference is usual (it is wanting, perhaps, only in Nah. 
3 : 6), partly on account of several passages hereafter to be cited 
from older writers, which seem to serve as the groundwork of this, 
and in which this reference prevails. The wing of abomination, in 
our view, is the summit of the temple, so desecrated by abomination, 
that it no longer deserves the name of the temple of the Lord, but 
that of the temple of idols. We find, in this designation, the reason 
why the ruin here predicted comes upon the temple. 

We take Dntyp in the sense destroyer. Relying on the usual 
meaning of Poel, on chap. 11 : 31, where the part. Dniyp undeniably 
occurs in this sense, on the manifest antithesis between DDti^n and 
QDlli>, the latter of which, unless all philological investigation is to 
be contemned, can mean nothing else than the destroyed. 

That the destroyer should be or come over the summit of the tem- 
ple, we regard as a designation of its utter ruin, inasmuch as the 
seizure of the highest part presupposes the possession of all the rest ; 
a stronghold, e.g,, is completely taken, when the enemy has master- 
ed its highest battlements. 

In favor of our interpretation, whose philological correctness no 
one will venture to doubt, and the characteristic mark of which is, 
that it makes the destruction of the temple to be occasioned by a 
profanation of it, caused by the covenant people themselws, we offer 
the following positive arguments. 

1. This interpretation admirably coincides with the whole remain- 
ing contents of the prophecy. The ancient temple is designated as 
converted, by the unbelief of the people and the murder of the Mes- 
siah, from a house of God into a house of abomination, which must 
be destroyed, in antithesis with a new real temple, a holy of holies, 
which, according to v. 24, in the end of the 70 weeks should be 
anointed. To the cessation of sacrifices, which are sacrifices no 
longer, corresponds the destruction of the temple, which is no longer 
a temple, a dwelling-place of the true God. 

2. The destruction of the second temple stands in the closest 
relation to that of the first. How both, to the exclusion of all acci- 
dent, were solely an eflfect of the penal justice of God, who avenged 
the apostasy of his people and the desecration of his sanctuary, he 
has made known in a way which should open the eyes of the most 
blind, and show him that the Theocracy was not an illusion, but a 
reality. The second destruction happened on precisely the same 
day as the first. nuqi]v, says Josephus {De Bella Jud. 6. 4, 5, 


p. 385. Haverc), after relating how Titus had determined to spare 
the temple, a determination, which was rendered nugatory by the 
previous divine decree, — na^ijv 5' i) sif^iaQ^iivr] xqovcxiv nsglodog, '>]i^equ 
dsxaTJ] Xbwv firji'oc, itad' tjV to ngots^ov vno xov xSsv Ba^vltaviav 
^ixadioig svsttq/jo&ij. Surely it requires a strong degree of false 
belief, and of genuine unbelief, to suppose that chance should have so 
skilfully discovered the only prize among three hundred and sixty- 
four blanks ! If, however, it were not chance, what a seal has the 
hand of God impressed on the book of his revelations ! The con- 
nexion of the two events affords no small argument for the true inter- 
pretation of a passage, which predicts the latter, when, according to 
it, cause and effect appear in the same relation as in the predictions 
of the former destruction ; and the more so, since Daniel himself 
was a witness of this relation, and as he had converted the writings 
of the older prophets into flesh and blood, and by the study of them 
been excited to the intercession, which occasioned the prophecy 
before us. We now proceed to a consideration of these passages. 
2 Kings 21 : 2, &lc., it is said, " Manasseh did evil in the sight of the 
Lord, after the abomination of the heathen, whom the Lord had cast 
out before the children of Israel ; — and built altars in the temple of 
the Lord, — and he placed the image of Ascherath which he had 
made, in the temple. ^ — And the Lord spake by his servants the 
prophets. Because Manasseh has done these abominations, — and 
has made Judah also to sin with his idols, — therefore, thus saith the 
Lord, — Behold I bring evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, and I stretch 
over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, — and I destroy the remnant 
of mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their ene- 
mies, — because they have done evil in my sight." Jer. 7; " They 
placed their abominations in the house which is called by my name 
in order to pollute it. — Is then this house, which I called by my 
name, become a den of thieves in your eyes ? — Therefore will I do 
unto the house which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and 
to the place, which Thave given to you and your fathers, as I have 
done to Shiloh." Ezek. 5:11; " Wherefore, as I live, saith the 
Lord God, surely because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all 
thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations {l\]T\p^f~i:^^ 
']ir)2piT^~hg2>i), therefore will I also take away, neither shall mine 
eye spare, neither will I have any pity." Ezek. 7 : 8, 9 ; "I recom- 
pense thee for all thine abominations. — I will recompense thee ac- 
cording to thy ways, and thine abominations shall be in the midst 
VOL. II. 46 


of thee." V. 20; "And his beautiful ornament he hath changed 
into haughtiness, and the images of their abominations tliey made for 
detestable things therein, therefore do I give it to them for impurity, 
and I give it (their ornament) into the hand of the strangers for a 
prey, and to the ungodly for a spoil, and they pollute it." V. 22 ; 
"My face will I turn also from them, and they, the enemy, pollute 
my secret place (the holy of holies), and the evil doers enter therein, 
and defile it." Several, as Rosenmiiller, after the example of Jerome, 
prefer here by vnj/. OV (not " the ornament of his beauty," but " hia 
beautiful ornament") to understand aurum atque nrgentum afque 
bona omnia, qum illis divinitus obtigerunt. For the temple, however, 
n-lSbn, in v. 21, is decisive, and also v. 23, where, by way of climax, 
the subject of discourse is " the holy of holies." V. 20; "I give it 
them for impurity (the sanctuary, which they have polluted, shall 
serve them for impurity, instead of sanctification) ; the parallel pas- 
sage, 24 : 11, " Behold, I desecrate my sanctuary, my splendid orna- 
ment, the desire of your eyes, the food of your souls;" comp. Jer. 
7 : 4, Is. 66 : 3, 4. Now to these prophecies that of Daniel stands in 
the same relation, which we have already pointed out between 
Zechariah, chap. 11, and the two prophecies of Jeremiah. 

3. " Where the carcase is, there the eagles collect." This decla- 
ration of the Lord discloses to us the cause of all the desolations, 
which have passed, and will still pass over his church, under the old 
and the new covenant. This connexion between the lohcre and the 
thei-e is also found in the case of the oppression by Antiochus Epiph- 
anes and an attentive consideratif n of the passages relating to it 
shows us, that Daniel here perceives it, nay, that he studiously exhib- 
its it, particularly that he represents the heathenish desecration of 
the temple as a consequence of one, which had proceeded from the 
covenant people themselves, and thus we are the more inclined to 
assume, that he directs our attention here also to the repetition of 
this fundamental law. These passages are the following. Chap. 11 : 
31, it is said, " and arms will arise out of him, and pollute the sanc- 
tuary, the strong place, and take away that which is constant, and 
make the abomination ('fiptyn) as one that is laid waste." This 
passage is the more important, since it even has characteristic ex- 
pressions in common with the one before us, which implies an inter- 
nal relationship of both. We tale {oyy^, arms, in the sense, pow;- 
erful, and refer the svff. in O^^a to r\"^:i in the preceding verse, ex- 
plaining the masculine by the supposition, that cove7iant. stands for 


covenant people, (comp. Ewald, p. 640,) just as ^rnr, which is al- 
waysfe?nin., here, on account of its sense, is construed as masc. In 
the expressions, "they take away," and "that which is constant," 
there is a manifest antithesis. They take away, that which should 
not be interrupted for a moment, every sign of the worsliip and 
domi-nion of the Lord. Most interpreters erroneously refer this 
exclusively to the daily sacrifices. As it stands here, Tpn never 
occurs of one particular object, but, with the adjuncts, not only of 
the daily sacrifice, but also of the fire of the altar, of the sacrificial 
lamps, of the shew-bread, &.c. The prophet embraces all this, as 
Gousset, s. v., rightly perceived. To give stands in reference to to 
take atcay. They put in its place. By ]''!pK'n, the abomination, 
is designated all that is ungodly. They give this as so7ncthing to he 
destroyed, because the practice of it brings its destruction, as a 
righteous punishment, exactly corresponding to, " they desecrate the 
sanctuary, the strong-hold." Because they have polluted that which 
hitherto afforded them a sure protection, the temple, so are they 
henceforth by a righteous retribution given up as a defenceless prey 
to their enemies. A contrast to the giving of the abomination as a 
thing to be destroyed, as of the terminus a quo of the oppression, is 
formed by the giving of the abomination, as a thing to be wasted, 
its destruction to be effected by God, as the terminus ad quern. Ac- 
cording to this interpretation, therefore, this passage entirely coin- 
cides with the one before us, according to the explanation we have 
given. Both make the abomination one, " quce vastationis sp-ma, 
ut peccatum poenam post se irahit. — Abominationes considerantur ut 
peccatum et antccedens, quod per supervenientem. vastatorem justo dei 
judicio vindicatur." (Lampe, in the valuable treatise on the pSilvyixa 
xij? tQrj/xaasag, in the Bibl. Brem., cl. 3, p. 990 sq.) Bertholdt 
indeed, with most older interpreters, explains differently : " And his 
garrison (i. e. of Antiochus) will desecrate the fortified sanctuary, 
remove the daily sacrifice, and set up the abomination of desolation." 
Accordingly, the scandal would be designated, not as proceeding oat 
of the midst of the covenant people themselves, but from the heathen. 
This. interpretation, however, besides the unphilological explanation 
of Tpr^n and DnK/p ]*ipil'ri, is liable to the following objections. 
1. The connexion. V. 30, 32, the subject of discourse is, the 
members of the covenant people, who apostatized from the covenant 
of the Lord. How comes it, then, that the mention of the heathen 
garrison should be thus introduced between ? 2. The comparison 


of chap. 8, where, in like manner, the abomination is something 
originating from the covenant people themselves; comp. also 11 : 14. 
3. D';n| cannot be taken in the sense hosts. For then, as v. 15, 22, 
the fern, would stand. 4. Tiy^n also, the strong -hold, implies a dese- 
cration on the part of the covenant people themselves. In the anti- 
thesis with ib^n, it directs our attention to the guilt and folly of the 
action. They robbed themselves of their strong-hold, — The second 
passage is that of chap. S: 12. >'K*gn Tann-bj? jn^n N3yi. Wetrans- 
late : " And the host is given up on account of that which is constant, 
as sin," i. e. because through the covenant people, the abolition of that 
which is constant, the sign of the worship and dominion of the Lord, 
has been committed, so will they be given up to righteous punishment 
as sin, so treated as if they were sin itself personified. That N3i*,7jos<, 
here fe?n. as Is. 40 : 2, and uniformly in the plural, can be under- 
stood only of " the host of the Lord, the covenant people," appears 
from its occurring in that sense, v. 10, 11. That i'B'Dn must be 
translated by, as sin (? here serves to designate the relation of the 
special to the general; comp. the passages cited on v. 26), is plain 
from V. 13, where the covenant people is designated directly as 
j^a'Sn. We must translate, " How long will the vision endure, that 
which is constant, and the wickedness laid waste, the giving up, as 
well of the sanctuary, as the host, to devastation ? " To Doii', as " a 
thing destroyed," DD"j\p nn corresponds, " to give as a trampling 
upon " ; to "rnnn, t^np ; to r^gn, x^y. If now this interpretation of 
y^^^ is incontestably just, so must Tpnn- S;;, the ground of this 
giving as sin, designate that, whereby the covenant people have been 
changed from righteousness into crime, the desecration of the sanc- 
tuary caused by their fault ; as it had been previously described. 
The explanation we have given is confirmed by v, 23, according to 
which the oppression of the covenant people should take place, 
D'JTi/^iJn Onn|, when the transgressors have finished, filled up, the 
measure of sin, and thereby brought punishment with violence. — In 
favor of our interpretation of both passages, the historical fulfilment 
gives a remarkable testimony. In all three sources of the history Oi 
the oppressions by Antiochus Epiphanes, they are uniformly desig- 
nated as a consequence of the abomination proceeding from the cove- 
nant people themselves, as a righteous retribution. Particularly do the 
Jews, and not the heathen, appear as the proper authors of the dese- 
cration of the temple. We the more readily produce some passages, 
since they serve at the same time to exhibit clearly the general mode 


of God's proceeding in this respect, as it lies at the foundation of 
prophecy and its fulfilment, and therefore constitutes a testimony in 
favor of our interpretation, entirely independent of the passages of 
Daniel. The apostate members of the covenant people were the 
cause of the suffering, not only so far as they first caused Antiochus 
to intermeddle with the affairs of the covenant people (comp, 1 
Mace. 1 : 11), but also in the higher point of view, inasmuch as 
they hastened the divine vengeance by their crimes; comp. 2 Mace. 
4 : 15, sq. : ycal Tag fiiv naigmuq Tii.iug iv o\)8iv\ Ti&dfisvoi,, Tag de 
£lki]n)(i(g do^ixg y.aXliaxag ij/otfiEvoo ' wv h ul )(a q tv nsQtsa%sv av- 
Tovg ;^aA67ij} Tisglaiaaig, xal wv i'Qi]lovv rag uymyitg nal y.a&unav rjx^ikov 
i^ofioiovjd^ai, TovTovg nol([ilovg xul ji^mQrjTug iaxov ' a a e ^ slv yuQ 
eig Tovg &elovg vo^ovg ov (jadiov, ullu lumit o dxoXov&og 
y.ttig6g di^lwasi. Through them the city lost its prosperity, which the 
Lord had formerly secured to it, while a better disposition yet pre- 
vailed ; comp. 3 : 1, 2 : z?]? aylag jolvvv nolscag xajoixovfiivi^g fisju 
naarig UQt]Vi]g aal iwv vofiav sii xakhoTa avvxrjQOVfiivav dia rrjv Oviov 
Tov aQ;(iEQimg ivas^ndv te hkI fiiaonovrjQiav ' uvvs^aivs >cal avjovg 
TOvg jSuailng Tifiuv tov xonov, xa\ to ifgov dnoaToXaig Tolg xQUTiaTuig 
So^ixCsiv. The apostates were, indirectly, the only cause, directly the 
accessories of the desecration of the sanctuary ; comp. 1 Mace. 1 : 33, 
sq. : The Syrians built a castle nal sd^rjxav fxsl t&vog u^rnQTaVor, avSgag 
nagavofiovg, xui iviaxvauv iv ocvrfi- That here by the sinful people and 
the transgressors of the law, apostate members of the covenant people 
are designated, appears partly from the words themselves, partly from 
Josephus (ArchiBol. 12.5,4; comp. J. D. Michaelis on the passage) ; 
V. 36 : xttl lyh'STO slg i'vedgov tw dyida^an xal tig Siii^oXov novrigov 
TW laguTjX diuTiui'Tog, xul i^i;(sav ai/.ta u&ujov xvx)m tov uyiua/xaTog, 
xotl i fiolvv av TO a y i cc a /.i a. Even the setJng up of ^Sikvyfxa 
xi]g fgt]fm(sso:)g, the abomination, which brought desolation after it, 
the heathenish altar, was effected by the aid of these apostates j 
comp. v. 52 sq. : xai uvvtj&golu&rjam' uno to£I luov ngog avxovg 
noXlol ' Ttug eyxaTaXilnav tov vofiov, xul inolrjaav xaxd iv Ttj yrj, 
X. T. X., xcxi Miio86(ir,auv (]8iXvy/xa igrii.iwaso:)g ini x6 \^vaiaoTi]gLov, xal 
iv noXeaiv Iov8u xi;xXq) mxo86i.irioav j3cofiovg. And on account of all 
these crimes, the wrath of God fell upon Israel ; comp. v. 64 : xal 
syivETO ogyt] /.leyuXi] arc} "luga^X a(f68ga. As the gates of Jerusalem 
were opened to Antiochus by the apostates (comp. Jos. 12. 5, 3,), 
so when, with impious hand, he defiled the sanctuary, he was guided 
by Menelaus, tov xal twv vofxoiv xul TT)g naTgi8og ngo86TTjv ytyovoxa. 


2 Mace. 5 : 15, sq. The ground why the Lord permitted this des- 
ecration is in the same place, v. 17, thus given : 5ia rug a/jaQjla? 
TWJ' jTjV noliv olxovvjav anuQ/iarai ^Qa;;iaig o dsanorrji; ' 5to ysyove 
TtsQi Tov jonov nagoQaaig. The connexion, in general, of the fate of 
the temple with the conduct of the people is admirably unfolded 
in V. 19, sq. : Ov dice lov lonov to t&vog, dlAa dia to sdvog jov xonov 
o xvgiog f^BliiuTO ' dionsg xat ovrog o ronog av^n^Tnaxbiv xwv tov 
i&vovg dva7iET7]uuT(x)v ysvoj^ircav, votbqov sviQysTrjfiaKav vno jov kvqIov 
ixoivcivi^as, o xniraX7]q)&elg iv ttj rov nuvioxguTOQog OQyjj, ndXtv iv 
trj TOV fifyakov dianoTOV xaralloiyfj lisxa naar/g do^t]g enavoQd^ut&r]. 

4. This interpretation has the testimony of tradition in its favor. 
This appears from the passage of Josephus, bell. Jud. IV., 6, 3, 
p. 292, where it is said of the Zelotes, val ttjv xma xiig naxQlSog 
TigocprjTsluv TsXovg rj^lmaav ' T/V yuQ 8>] Tig nayaiog Xoyog avdQOJV, sv&a 
TOTE T^v Tiohv aXaasa&at, xal xaTacplsyijaiaSai, tu ayia I'o^o) noXifiov, 
araaig tvcv xaTnoKrupi], xul x^^Q^? olxslai ngo/xiaivaai, to tov -d^iov 
TifXivog ' o'lg ovx annnrioavTtg ol ^i]Xa)ial diaxovovg eaviovg inidoaav. 
That by the naXmog Uyoq uvSqoJv here, the prophecy before us is to 
be understood, admits of no doubt, (comp. Beitr. 1, p. 2G5.) Ac- 
cording to this passage, by Ci'^pil/ was understood abominations, 
through which the temple had been polluted by the corrupt members 
of the covenant people themselves ; and how generally diffused was 
not only the reference to the destruction by the Romans in general, 
but also this special interpretation, appears from the expre§s remark 
of Josephus, that the Zelotes themselves adopted it ; comp. also 
6. 2, 3. 

5. This interpretation is confirmed by the most weighty of all 
authorities, that of the Lord himself This, however, on account of 
the manifold misinterpretations of his declarations concerning it, needs 
to be pointed out more at large. Passages are. Matt. 24 : 15, 16, otuv 
ovv I'drjTE TO ^dilvyixa rijg egt^i-iwaicag, to QTjdiv 8ia /lavn]X tov nQOCpi'jXOV 
koTcag iv Tonbj uylca — o arayivaoxav voeIkd — tote 6i iv ti} lovSala 
(fEvyhaaav inl tu oqt) ', and Mark 13 : 14, otkv Se I'Si^te to ^SiXvy^a 
Trjg iQrji.muEag Eaimg onov ov SsT.' 6 avay. v. ' tote ol x. x. X. According 
to the prevailing interpretation, which, e. g., Schott has attempted 
fully to establish (^comment, in serm. de reditu, p. 47, sq.) ^8eX. 
T. igrju. is rendered abominatio devastatiunis, abominatio devas- 
tanda, which, according to Kuinol, stands as the ubstr. for concr., 
for detestabilis desolator. This now designates cxcrcitwn Romanp- 
ruTii Hitrns. devastaturum, milites paganos idolorinn cultores, ideoque 


vel hoc de causa abominandos. We, on the contrary, following such 
excellent predecet^sors as Oleariiis (Ob-senw. in .'''lat. p. (582), Lampe, 
1. c, Relaiid, and Eisner, understand by (^bil. t. iQ. the abomination, 
which being set up by the covenant people themselves, must have for 
its inevitable consequence, the desolation, the abomination to which 
the desolation belongs, as effect to cause. A genitive exactly like 
that in ulfjioitg anwhiuq, 2 Pet. 2:1, and similar to the uvaaxaaig 
^ojjjg. We explain the word scjiMg from the figurative designation of 
the abomination, also found in Daniel, whereby the temple was pol- 
luted, as idols there set up, borrowed from an earlier period, where 
the abomination actually exhibited itself, in this manner (comp. the 
passages cited from the writings before the exile). 

That the chief argument brought for the prevailing explanation, 
viz. that, in the parallel passage of Luke 21 '. 20 {oiav ds i'drjjs 
xvxXovfiivrjv vno axQUTonidav tijv " leQOVaalrifi, tots yvbJif, oTt o'lyyixsv 
i] igi'jixcoatg avrrjg) the encompassing of the city by the Romans is 
given as a mark of the impending destruction, and as a sign that it 
is time to fly, has no validity, we have already shown in the Beitr. 
I. p. 208. For why may we not well assume, that the Lord, whether 
at the same or at another time, might direct attention to various 
signs of the destruction from the prophecy of Daniel, that Luke 
records the outward sign, which he had taken from Dan. 9 : 26, 
(xKt ijaatXsia i&iojv (p&sgsl t?}j' ttoIiv,) and, indeed, precisely this, be- 
cause it was in itself the most plain, and did not, like ihe other, 
presuppose, in order to be understood, a deeper acquaintance with 
Daniel, which Luke could not expect from his readers, while Mat- 
thew and Mark, on the contrary, recorded the internal, derived from 
V. 27, which coincided as to time, with the outward, so that the 
attentive observer might find satisfaction concerning both ? 

On the contrary, this interpretation is liable to such great difficul- 
ties, that we cannot but wonder, how it has continued to prevail, 
since it has been opposed by the true one. The greatness of these 
difficulties assumes a different form according to the different inter- 
pretation, which its advocates give of the words fV jonoj uyio), without, 
however, being at all lessened in either case. If, with Beza and others, 
we understand by them the temple, no reason can be given why, as the 
proper time for flight, precisely the moment is designated when it is too 
late, and when it is no longer possible for those, who have happily sur- 
vived the inexpressible wretchedness of the siege, from which the Lord 
certainly wished to preserve his disciples. Nor can this difficulty be 


removed by the parallel passage of Luke. For although the signs 
in the different evangelists need not necessarily be the same, still 
they must coincide as to time, and can by no means be separated 
so far from each other, as the commencement of the siege of a city 
and its complete capture. If, with others, and indeed with most 
defenders of this interpretation, we choose to understand by the 
ronog uyiog the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, we avoid Charybdis 
only to fall upon Scylla. For that by jonog ayiog, the temple must 
necessarily be understood, appears, 1. From the word itself. The 
passages need not be cited, where Jerusalem is designated as a holy 
city, Palestine as a holy land. Instead of such we should endeavour 
to find only one where precisely x onog uyiog occurs of any thing 
else than the temple. Among the very numerous passages in the 
Alexandrian version, and in the New Testament (comp. e. g. Acts 
.C : 13, viixTa toi) lonov uyLov toviov. 21 : 28, y.tKoivwKB lov uyiov jonov), 
we shall certainly seek in vain. That Dfpn, lonog, was already among 
the Jews a usual designation of the temple, has been shown by Le 
Moyne, among others, Comment. 'in Jcr. 23, p. 165. Schott, indeed, 
appeals to Is. 60 : 13 ; here, however, the subject of discourse is not 
the region round Jerusalem, but the temple, in the Hebrew, as well 
as in the Seventy. It is promised, that the costly wood of Lebanon 
should serve for the glorious building of the temple : i] 86^a rov 
Ai^avov nqog as ?ilft ■ — do^uaui zov lonov rov uyiov fiov. 2. The expres- 
sion ^dk'kvyy.a T. {Q. shows, as is generally conceded, that the Lord 
had in view the translation of the Seventy, although, on the other 
hand, the improvement in iv xonoj uyloj, instead of their in I to Uqov, 
shows that he adhered to it only so far, as it rendered the original 
text correctly. If now the subject of discourse in the Seventy, as well 
as in the original, is the temple, how can any thing else be under- 
stood by Tonog liyiog, especially since immediately after the phrase 
iar. iv t. ny. the reference to Daniel follows? 3. That the temple 
only can be spoken of, is evident from referring to what precedes. 
The outward occasion of his discourse was the circumstance, that 
the disciples showed to the Lord the buildings of the temple; he 
had described their ig^ficuaig, v. 2, and the disciples had asked 
him when this would happen. When, therefore, in direct reference 
to what had preceded, an abomination of desolation is spoken of, 
which should stand in the holy place, why should we not understand 
by this holy place, that which had before been designated as such? 
The positive argument for our interpretation, according to which 


the desolation is designated as belonging to the inward sign, pre- 
cisely as in Luke to the outward, are the following: 1. The Lord 
docs not further e.xpliiin what is meant by the ^SiXv/fja t^$ (gijfAaaioig, 
but presupposes it eitiier to be already known, or to be sought from 
Daniel, to whom he expressly refers. Now, as we have already 
shown from Josophus, D'V'pi^ and j3diXvyna were at that time gen- 
erally referred to a pollution of the temple, which should be caused 
by the covenant people themselves. Would then the Lord, if he had 
not approved of this interpretation, have satisfied himself with a bare 
allusion ; would he not have given some indication concerning the 
sense of the (35. r. iQ.1 2. According to our interpretation, the 
passage has a remarkable parallel in that of Matt. 24 : 28, onov yug 
lav i] TO TtTcofitt, fxfl avrn/di'iooi'Tui, oi anol. Without dwelling upon 
the various misconceptions of this passage, so clear in itself, (" where 
sin is, there also punishment comes," — the figure borrowed from Job 
39 : iJO,) we only remark, that the yag, on which Fritzsche grounds 
his remarkable perversion of the sense, is most naturally explained 
thus: "The coming of Christ will not take place in one secret 
corner, but be visible to the whole earth. For where the dead body 
is, there the eagles collect." But now the dead body will be over 
the whole earth, the eagles, therefore, will appear throughout its 
whole extent, and not as formerly in Judea alone. This passage, in 
its connexion, refers indeed in the first instance to the general judg- 
ment; but still only in such a manner that the entirely in neral dec- 
laration is there especially applied, and even on account of its univer- 
sality, it has, at the same time, a concurrent reference to all former 
judgments, which serve as preludes to this last. The close con- 
nexion also between ihe different manifestations of the divine justice, 
already appear from the connexion, which, throughout the whole 
discourse of the Lord, the destruction of Jerusalem sustains to the 
final judgment of the world. 3. Our interpretatioh admirably agrees 
with the history. That even Titus himself perceived, that the fearful 
abomination, whereby the temple had been defiled, caused the de- 
struction, is manifest from several passages of Jesephus. Josephus 
is thoroughly penetrated with this thought. He says, e. g. [De 
Bell. Jud. lib. 4. 5, 2, p. 287,) after he has related the death of true 
friends of their country, uXX oifjai xaTuxQiroci; 6 &t6g oj? (xf^iaaiiivrig 
T^? noXibtq an(i)Xiiav, tivqI /iovXojj-frog exxadagd-TjVai, t« ayia, rovg 
avTfxofisvov^ avTWV xai (pdootogyovvTag HFQiixoips. 

The difference between the words of Daniel, and those of the 

VOL. !I. 47 


Lord, consists only in the circumstance, that in Daniel the language 
is more general ; the temple in general, in and after the death of 
Christ, is represented as one desecrated by idolatrous abominations, 
and therefore devoted to destruction, while the Lord, whose chief 
object was to give to his followers an outward and perceptible sign 
of the immediately impending destruction (comp. the otuv idrjrs), 
renders prominent one particular moment of this desecration, that in 
which what previously existed, but was more invisible, is made per- 
ceptible to the outward senses in so frightful a form, that even many 
of those, who had been the abetters of the invisible desecration, 
were seized with horror in view of it ; just as the history of the Ze- 
lotes in Josephus is conceivable only by the fact, that crime, when 
it has arrived at its highest pitch, always becomes a sort of madness. 

Having established our interpretation, we now take a view of 
those which differ from it. The first to be considered, is that of 
Larape, which, essentially the same, differs only in the understanding 
of^jp. This he interprets as a designation, not of the summit of 
the temple, but of the temple itself; the wing, not as the extremity, 
but as that which protects and covers, appealing to the passages 
where, as Exod. 19 : 14, Deut. 32 : 11, 12, Ps. 17 : 8, 36: 8, Mai. 
4 : 2, the care of God over his people is represented under the 
image of the protection, which eagles or other birds afford to the 
young (comp. 1. c. p. 1010 sq.) A parallel according to this inter- 
pretation would be furnished by the passage, chap. 11 : 31, "And 
they profaned the sanctuary, the stronghold ;" ^J3 would only be the 
figurative expression for ti;^n. Against this view, however, the use 
of the sing. ']i2 is decisive, since uniformly, where the wing is used 
as an image of protection, as well in the cited passages of the Old 
Testament, as in those brought forward by Lampe, from Greek and 
Latm writers, we find the plural, in accordance with the nature of 
the case. Lampe appeals indeed to Ps. 91 : 4, 'ij'? ijp; in-^px:? ; but 
n^DX, there used collectively, yeaf/ters, must not be confounded with 
S]JD. In addition to this, is the great harshness of the expression, 
" wing of abomination," for the temple, which, if kept holy, would 
be a protection, but is now changed into a place of abomination, 
therefore cannot justify the vain confidence, which the people per- 
petually repose in it. 

The explanation of Jahn, I.e. p. 161, "super alam abomina- 
tionum, h. e. super abominabilem exercitum seditiosoruin et lutronum," 
corresponds in a measure, as to the thought, with ours. Against 


which, however, the simple objection is decisive, that the sing. ^^JD 
cannot be used of a host; and this is altogether natural, since the 
comparison of the hostile army with a bird of prey, who spreads out 
his wings over his spoil, lies at the foundation of the figure. Is. 8 :8, 
to which Jahn appeals, has the dual 0\3\,D. Also D'SJ^, wings, 
stands in Ezekiel, of a host, only in the plur. This also occurs in 
the parallel passage adduced from Arabic writers by Gesenius, on 
Isaiah, I. p. 335, and in the Tins. s. v. ^i^l . We need therefore 
scarcely remark, that even the verb DDK; leads to the idea of the 
building, as that which is to be destroyed, especially when v. 26 is 
compared, where ninr^K? occurs of the ruins of the city and the tem- 
ple, to which in the verse before us, D^^ty? as the agens, DOty as the 
patiens, of the desolation, correspond, and especially that the collo- 
cation of the desolation with the doing away of the sacrificial ser- 
vice, suggests at once the temple, &c. 

Among the interpretations which fundamentally differ from ours, 
we notice, first, that of Bertholdt, "On the roof of a wing of a sanc- 
tuary, will the abomination of desolation stand." " The statue is 
here meant, which Antiochus Epiphanes caused to be erected to 
Jupiter Olympus on the roof of a wing of the temple." This inter- 
pretation is liable to so many objections, that we need not urge that 
this setting up of the statue, is a pure fiction (comp. Beitr. I. p. 86), 
and the whole reference of the prophecy to the time of Antiochus 
Epiphanes, is only an invention of that obstinate unbelief, which 
mocks at all argument. 1. It testifies against itself, by confessing 
the necessity of changing the stat. constr. ^12 into the stat. absol. 
^JO. 2. Even admitting the correctness of the supposed emendation, 
the alleged sense cannot possibly be deduced from the words, without 
violating all the rules of grammar. How could Dotyr? D'i'ipi?, mean 
"abominations of desolation "? DpiJ'P, Bertholdt asserts, is a part, 
noun, " desolation," according to the form ngziD, " a covering," 2yr\r^, 
" an abomination." But ^^_!~^'^ does not occur in the sense attributed 
to it, but only as a part, in Piel in a transitive meaning, comp. on 
Is. 49: 7; and n^Dp is no abstract noun. What Ewald (p. 237) 
observes, concerning the form of the part. Kal, " They can, indeed, 
as neut. part, be transferred also to things, but never form abstract 
substantives," is still more just of the part. Piel, which, as in general 
the part, of the derivative conjugation, adheres more closely to its 
origin than the part. Kal. And, although this interpretation were in 
general admissible, still it could not be applied here, on account of 


the manifest antithesis of un'^n and wpw as the agrns and pofiens, 
and the less so, since this antithesis occurs elsewhere in Daniel, 
comp. 11 : 31 with 12 : 11. And then, what is accomplished by this 
effort? The stat. absoL Cy^pB* cannot stand for the stat. constr. 
It is true, that in Hebrew the deficiency of composite nouns is sup- 
plied, not only by the connexion of two nouns in the stat. constr., 
but also by their juxtaposition in the stat. absol.; comp. e. g. ^2 
nSjf)n, loine of tumult, Ps. 60 : 5, and niN^V D'^'^^*, God of hosts, 
Ps. 80 : 15, and pny~ni.Jir, mildness and righteousness, Ps. 45 : 5, in 
which case the pronunciation supplied the want of a grammatical 
designation of a close connexion. — But this sort of combination 
occurs only with those nouns, the meanings of which should be 
combined in one conception, while the designation by the stat. 
constr. is much wider, and indicates every sort of relation of one 
noun to the other. Such a combination, however, in respect to the 
"abomination of desolation," can by no means be here assumed. 
The easiest of all combinations, a mere juxtaposition, would be suit- 
able here, since idols could not be considered as a cause of the 

The interpretation of Hitzig still remains, who, (1. c. p. 150) con- 
necting these words with what follows, translates, " and over the 
summit of the abomination of desolation, and until, &,c. will it pour 
itself." In order to vindicate for DOtS'n D'V'ptf^ the sense, uhomina- 
tion of desolation, he appeals to ntvp^ D'.JI'^., Is 19 : 4, where in like 
manner a noun in the -plur. is joined with an adject, in the sing. 
But who would draw the conclusion from one such example, that in 
general every plural may stand for the siiigularl This is rather the 
case only with a few determinative nouns, in which the plur. form 
serves simply as a designation of the abstract, as D'^U'^^j CJ?^?:^, 0"'^"'?!?., 
the last two, when they stand precisely in the sense, dominion, comp, 
Ewald, p. 641. Would any one, however, explain D'V'PK;, which 
never occurs except as an KcivmX plur., according to this analogy, he 
could only translate, "desolating dominion of idols." But what 
would this be? Could the dead idols of Antiochus Epiphanes be 
considered as authors of the desolation? And what is meant by 
"over the wing, or the summit of the desolation, the dominion of 
idols"? Not to mention that the erroneous understanding of nS^ 
nX'inJi, as well as of 'ijiDn and DOK' is inseparably connected with 
this interpretation. 


'■'And indeed until that which is completed and cut off shall drop 
upon that which is made desolate. " 

We first investigate the meaning of ^Sd. Interpreters and lexi- 
cographers, commonly take as such that of the completion, which is 
here supfjosed to stand for the finished desolation. Suspicion is 
awakened against this sense even by the form of the word. It is 
thefe7n. of the adject. hSd, as Tt^l of n5\ The 7nasc. occurs, Deut. 
28 : 32, in the sense dcficiens, tahesccns. To the form as nSii of 
the verbs nS, however, the form ^HD, of the regular verbs corre- 
sponds, which always forms adjectives of an intransitive meaning, 
never abstract nouns; and, least of all, those of a transitive meaning, 
comp. Ewald, p. 231, 422. What we thus learn from the form is 
confirmed by the usage of the language. nSp never occurs, except 
as the fern, or ncut. for that which is finished. This sense is evident, 
e. g., Zeph. I : 8, where hSd is joined with another por^ "!|X nSj O 
]"\ir\ ^2^''-hD nx ^'iy\ ^'^%!5J, " for that which is completed, only 
that which is terrible (Sna in Niph. never precisely to haste) does 
the Lord with all inhabitants of the land." It is equally evident in 
the passage before us and Is. 10 : 23, 28 : 22, where hSd is joined 
with another part. Tiiat the frequent phrase, Th2 Hii;];, is not to be 
translated, " for a completion," but " to make to a finished thing," 
is evident from Jer. 46 : 28, " For that which is finished will I do 
among all nations, but thee I will not make to that which is finish- 
ed." Gen. 18:21, "Yet I will go down and see whether they 
hSd W);^ according to the cry that comes to n)e, or not, will I know," 
is to be explained, either, whether they have made their sin complete, 
with reference to the foregoing verse, " The cry of Sodom and 
Gomorrah is very great, and their sin is very grievous," or whether 
they have made it full, whether they have carried it to the uttermost. 

The completion can now refer, either to the decree or the execu- 
tion. Of the completion of the decree, the verb "rh^ often occurs. 
Thus e. g. 1 Sam. 20 : 7, " When he, Saul, shall rage, then know 
'{'iV'Q T\yir\ nnSD"".?, that the evil is completed on his part," that he 
has formed the firm and irrevocable determination to execute it. In 
like manner v. 9, 1 Sam. 25: 17, "And now consider and see, 
what thou doest, in'.T-Ss-Sin irnx. S>« Hinn nnS.D -•'.?, since the 
evil is firmly decreed for our Lord and over his whole house." Esth. 
7:7," For Haman saw, ^V.'!;.n nxr? njnn vS^ nnS^-^3, that the evil 


was firmly decreed against him from the king." These passages 
show that the word is not only used in general for a decree, but is 
limited by the usage, especially to the finished determination to 
inflict suffering upon any one. In a good sense, it never occurs, 
corap. still Prov. 22: 8, and Schultens on the passage. Even this 
adj. hSd is, 1 Sam. 20 : 33, used as a designation of such a finished 
decree, " And Jonathan perceived, "nj;;! n'on^ VDN Q^p, x^n nS^-'a 
nn, that there was a firm decree, on the part of his father, to kill 
David." That n'^p is here also to be referred to a thing completed 
as to the purpose not the execution, is evident, 1. From its colloca- 
tion with another word, designating the firmness and irrevocable 
nature of the decree. 2. From ^Pn, which is always used of the 
cause of the destruction, the divine anger, or the divine penal sen- 
tence, never of the destruction itself. 3. From the comparison of 
Is. 28 : 22, where the same phrase nV"^nAl hSd is designated as an 
object of hearing : "A thing completed and cut off", heard I from 
the Lord, the Almighty." 

The entirely similar connexion of both words in the passage before 
us, and in the two of Isaiah, in which they were rightly understood 
by the Apostle Paul, Rom. 9 : 7, and afier him by Vitriuga, but erro- 
neously by Gesenius, makes it highly probable that in this connexion, 
they formed a judicial technical term, the^firm and irrevocable final 
decree. Perhaps especially in the case of life and death. It is, 
therefore, unnecessary with Hitzig, to assume, that Daniel borrowed 
from Isaiah, and we may thus easily explain the verbal agreement of 
the two passages of the latter. " The judgment is pronounced." 

We do not consider the sentence, with nearly all interpreters, as a 
completely independent one, " until the completion," as they trans- 
late, " and until the judgment will it drop," &.c. ; but we place it in 
connexion with the preceding, " over the wing of abomination comes 
the destroyer, and indeed until," &.c. The justification of this con- 
nexion lies, in part, in the true interpretation of nynnjl dSd. For if 
this can designate only the decree, the final sentence, in antithesis 
with the smaller chastisement previously decreed, n;^ cannot be the# 
terminus ad quern of the dropping. The divine punishment does by 
no means cease with the final sentence, but rather its most fearful 
expression only then commences. And besides, according to our 
interpretation, ']r\T) retains its entirely natural subject, the final sen- 
tence, which is itself represented as dropping down, because with 
God, decree and execution happen at the same moment, exactly as 


it is said, v. 11, " Since the curse and the oath are poured upon us, 
which is written in the law of Moses," and Mai. 2 : 2, " I send upon 
you the curse," and as Zech. 5 : 4, " The roll written with the curse 
comes to the house of the thief, and the false swearer, and destroys 
it." According to the other interpretation, on tlie contrary, '^nn 
must be taken impersonally, as it never occurs, and sliould the less 
be understood so here, since (v. 11) it stands with the definite sub- 
ject. That the i in nj^i does not disprove our interpretation, since it 
often stands as the looser connexion, instead of the closer by et 
quidem, thus e. g. in v. 25, piy3i, scarcely needs to be remarked ; 
comp. Jer. 15 : 13, Ewald, p. 654, Gesen. p. 845. In like manner 
the y.m, John 1, 16, Winer, p. 367. That n>' is not, with Bertholdt, 
to be interpreted by, "finally,''' is self-evident. 

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, as the type of all future 
annihilating judgments of God, lies at the foundation of the expres- 
sion, " it will drop down upon." ijHJ is used originally of natural 
rain; comp. 2 Sam. 21 : 10, Exod, 9 : 33. By a supernatural rain, 
however, (comp. Gen. 19:24, "and God caused it to rain upon 
Sodom and Gomorrah fire and brimstone,") the destruction of Sodom 
and Gomorrah was effected. This passage of Genesis in a remark- 
able manner forms the basis of a multitude of others, in which the 
destruction of the ungodly is described. It is most closely adhered 
to in Ps. 11 : 6, "God will rain upon the ungodly, cords (not, in- 
deed, " lightnings," which is entirely arbitrary. The image taken 
from a judicial proceeding; the transgressor is chained before the 
capital sentenc